[CPU]ai is a globally leading architecture master's studio/atelier at the Manchester School of Architecture, dedicated to exploring and formulating new design approaches that empower alternative engagement with sustainable futures. We utilize data-driven design, machine learning, computational simulation, generative design, and metric-embedded virtual environments. The studio applies emerging possibilities from AI, Big Data, Smart Cities, Machine Learning, MMO games, and computational design to create sustainable Future Cities. Students are trained to engage with the complexities of urban transformation by expanding their design process and methods through computational possibilities. The studio adopts a custom complexity-based design science methodology to translate theoretical concepts into spatially relevant design strategies, utilizing information from multiple sources and interdisciplinary theories and methods.

The [CPU]lab, an externally funded research laboratory, reinforces research-led teaching in design and enables students to translate research methodologies into experimental computation-based design approaches. This year, [CPU]ai explores 'Zero Carbon Future Cities' in East Manchester, in partnership with Manchester City Council, focusing on designing accessible, sustainable, and metric-embedded architectures that address energy use, emissions, transport, lifestyle, health, and air quality. Graduates of [CPU]ai contribute to an evolutionary process for the profession towards new forms of design practice embedded in new understandings of design process.

MArch2

EEPM_City (Energy Efficient Planning Mode within City)

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Project: [Enter] Change

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Thesis Project: AccessOurCity

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Project: [ENTER] Change

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AccesShift

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Select

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RIPPLE

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[Urban] Prosthetic Energy

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RIPPLE

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The archoclogy

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Manchester East

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[INCLU]_CITY

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EEPM_CITY

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Project: [Enter]Change

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HomeJoy // Affordable & Zero-Carbon City

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[Urban] Prosthetic Energy

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Project: [Enter] Change

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[AccesShift] A Walkable superblock based on daily amenities toward Zero-Carbon

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_voxel.complex(city);

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Professional Studies

Professional Studies 1

PS1

The brief for PS1 explored adaptive reuse strategies using computational design. Using a systems approach (soft and hard systems) students worked closely with the Man-Met Careers & Employability team and Man-Met Estates as a live client to reimage the position of Bell House as a focal point on campus. Through shared documentation and site visit, students examined the 19th Century town house to explore its potential considering the Grade II listed elements of the building. As part of their brief, students engaged with adaptive reuse strategies and embedded them within a computational design process to explore the opportunities of the design spaces. This was achieved through iterating and testing spatial design considerations such as programmatic requirements, spatial layout, site conditions, flows, energy performance, façade design, internal conditions, comfort, etc., towards meeting their clients brief and sustainability requirements. The iterative results from the computational process then allowed students to assess different options given their spatial strategies and formalise into a proposal integrating tectonics and structural solutions.

Professional Studies 2

PS2

The brief for PS2 explored the use of Modern Methods of Construction to achieve sustainable futures. Following PS1, the computationally skilled students were asked to design a zero-carbon student accommodation project in collaboration with the Man-Met Estates department. As part of the brief, students identified and addressed current and future considerations to align with the Man-Met sustainability strategy - considered one of the most environmentally sustainable campuses in the UK. Modern Methods of Construction and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) were explored to further the sustainability goals through use of emerging technologies. Students researched and developed spatial strategies using bespoke DfMA systems to address user and client needs, while also demonstrating the zero-carbon ambition and performance considering embodied, operational and life cycle aspects of the carbon footprint. External collaborators such as industry experts in DfMA, engineers, sustainability consultants, computational designers were invited at each design stage of the design process.

Exhibition