Ewan Branda

Professor of architecture, architectural historian, software developer, former architect, currently based in Montréal


Paper Architecture / Information Utopia

I am currently writing a book that tells the story of Centre Pompidou in Paris from the perspective of the client. It examines the rationalization of architecture that took place in response to the social disruptions of 1968, along with the development of a corresponding set of administrative techniques. It argues that these new bureaucracies offered new models of architectural creativity that allowed architecture to navigate the unfamiliar new world of the information sciences, computing, and the neoliberal turn.

AI in architecture

Recently, I have been teaching design studios and seminars that consider potential roles of artificial intelligence in the early stages of design, including the parti and the diagram. We developed workflows that combine older techniques such as optimization and evolutionary algorithms with newer methods based on machine learning. 

Students developed early schematic proposals by evolving parti diagrams using the Processing programming environment, and then altered the resulting drawings using neural-network deep learning techniques.


Teaching: Undergraduate thesis studios, graduate technology seminars, and history/theory seminars. Courses have focused on topics such as graph theory, games, postwar corporate architecture, generative design, water storage, and the architecture of logistics.

Multimedia Reviews Editor for the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (JSAH), review articles (JAE), conference papers (ARCC, SAH), and co-curated an exhibition of L.A. architecture from the 1970s (SCI-Arc Gallery/Getty Research Institute/Pacific Standard Time).