The aim of my research and creative work is to illuminate the dynamic relationship between the creative practice of design and computational design methods, enabling a more inventive, informed, responsive, and responsible practice of architecture. Too often in the relatively young subject area of Design Computation, the influence of software tools on the creative practice of design is either vastly over- or under-stated, with one of these actors characterized as a direct determinant of the other. My work seeks to demonstrate that while new technologies of design do not directly determine social relationships, they are among the network of actors - designers and specialists, software and users, data and drawings - that compete to shape the diffusion of design authorship and the social distribution of design work. More than ever, as the contexts relevant to design (social, environmental, phenomenal) are understood to operate at scales for which traditional design methods struggle to account, the conditions that give shape to an architectural intervention are apprehended through data and are mediated by software. A clear-eyed understanding of the nature of this mediation enables both a critical reading of data and a creative engagement with software, which is increasingly a prerequisite for an informed and responsible practice of architecture.
Kyle Steinfeld is an architect who works with code and lives in Oakland. Through his unique hybrid practice of creative work, scholarly research, and software development, he seeks to reveal certain overlooked capacities of computational design; he finds no disharmony between the rational and whimsical, the analytical and uncanny, the lucid and bizarre. His work cuts across media, and is expressed through a combination of visual, formal, and spatial material. Across these, we find an undermining of the authoritative and imperative voice that is so often bestowed upon the results of computational processes, and find in its place a range of alternative voices.
His creative work at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Environmental Design has been exhibited at the NeurIPS workshop on Machine Learning for Creativity and design in 2017 and 2018, and has been published in Towards Data Science.
In his academic and scholarly work, he seeks to illuminate the dynamic relationship between the creative practice of design and computational design methods, thereby enabling a more inventive, informed, responsive, and responsible practice of architecture. He is the author of a number of works of software design tools, and has published widely on the subject of design and computation. He is the author of "Geometric Computation: Foundations for Design", a foundational text that demystifies computational geometry for an audience of architecture students and design professionals. He has been the recipient of a number of research grants and fellowships; he was an IDEA fellow at Autodesk in 2014, and a Hellman Fellow in 2012.
As an educator, Kyle teaches core courses in design and architectural representation, and seminars in design computation at both the Graduate and Undergraduate levels.
In a previous life as a professional architect, Kyle worked with and consulted for a number of design firms, including Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Acconci Studio, Kohn Petersen Fox Associates, Howler/Yoon, Diller Scofidio Renfro, and TEN Arquitectos.
Kyle holds a Masters of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Bachelor's Degree in Design from the University of Florida (UF).
IDEA Studio Fellowship, "Computational Literacy for Architectural Designers", May 2013 Faculty Research Grant, "Decod.es", Jun 2013 Hellman Fellowship, "Visualization Tools for Climate-Calibrated Design", Sep 2012 Research Enabling Grant, "Dhour: A bioclimatic information design prototyping toolkit", Sep 2011 Instructional Improvement Grant, UCB Office of Educational Development, "Studiomaven", May 2011
Steinfeld, Kyle, Pravin Bhiwapurkar, Anna Dyson, and Jason Vollen. “Situated Bioclimatic Information Design: A New Approach to the Processing and Visualization of Climate Data.” In Proceedings of the ACADIA ’10 Conference. New York, NY: Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, 2010.
Steinfeld, Kyle, Stefano Schiavon, and Dustin Moon. “Open Graphic Evaluative Frameworks - A Climate Analysis Tool Based on an Open Web-Based Weather Data Visualization Platform.” In Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe, 1:675–83. Prague, Czech Republic: eCAADe, 2012.
Cabrinha, Mark, Jason Kelly Johnson, and Kyle Steinfeld. “Synthetic Digital Ecologies.” In Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), 15–17. San Francisco, 2012. http://cumincad.scix.net/cgi-bin/works/Show?acadia12_15.
Steinfeld, Kyle. “Public, Private, Protected: Encapsulation and the Disempowerment of the Digital Architect.” Room One Thousand Spring / Fall 2013, no. 1 (2013). http://www.roomonethousand.com.
Steinfeld, Kyle, and Joy Ko. “Decodes: A Platform-Independent Computational Geometry Environment.” In Open Systems: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA 2013), edited by R Stouffs, P Janssen, and B Tuncer, 499–508. Singapore, 2013.
Steinfeld, Kyle, and Brendon Levitt. “DHOUR: A Bioclimatic Information Design Prototyping Toolkit.” In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA). ACADIA, 2013.
Kyle Steinfeld, Levon Fox, and Alex Spatzier. “The Data Made Me Do It: Direct, Deferred, and Dissolved Authorship and the Architecture of the Crowd (Forthcoming).” In Paradigms in Computing: Making, Machines, and Models for Design Agency in Architecture, edited by David Gerber and Mariana Ibanez. Actar, 2014.
Ko, Joy, and Kyle Steinfeld. Geometric Computation: Foundations for Design. Routledge, 2018.
Steinfeld, Kyle. “Data Agency.” In Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), edited by David Gerber, Alvin Huang, and Jose Sanchez. Los Angeles: Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, 2014.
Steinfeld, Kyle, and Carlos Sandoval. “Imperative, Functional, Object-Oriented: An Alternative Ontology of Programmatic Paradigms for Design.” In Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA). Los Angeles: Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, 2014.
Steinfeld, Kyle. “Dreams May Come.” In Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA). Cambridge, MA: Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, 2017.