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Brian R. Johnson

Emeritus Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Washington


In 2018 I retired from full time teaching as an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington. From 1980-2020 I taught courses in digital media and design computing. I was also Director of the Design Machine Group [DMG], a collaborative interdisciplinary research group based in the Department of Architecture. Finally, I served as faculty advisor to students in the Master of Science in Architecture, Program in Design Computing, a 5-6 quarter MS program in which students explore and create new opportunities for computing in architecture.

This is my development server where I deploy web projects for testing, publication, and sharing with colleagues.

The book: Design Computing: An overview of an emergent field #1,909,037 in Books (March, 2018)

For the last few years I have been working on a introductory book about design computing, and I am very pleased to announce that it has been completed. Published by Routledge, the link above will take you to their site, but you can (of course!) also find it on, where Jerry Laiserin posted the following 5-star review:

You CAN judge a book by its cover, and Brian Johnson's "Design Computing: An Overview of an Emergent Field" delivers exactly what the title promises. Johnson has successfully pulled together diverse threads of digital applications and implications for the built environment. Many books published in the last 20 or so years have covered single aspects of the field -- often in considerable depth -- but Johnson's "Design Computing" affords the broadest and most comprehensive survey to date. This book would serve as an insightful and useful basis for stimulating student thinking about digital design beyond the "low-hanging fruit" of slick renderings, animations and algorithmic geegaws. Highly recommended." NOTE REGARDING THIS REVIEW: In my long-ago role as a steering committee member of ACADIA (Association for Computer-Aided Design In Architecture) I have known Brian Johnson for over 20 years. In that context, his publisher was kind enough to provide me a complimentary review copy.

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Last updated: June, 2020