August 26, 2021 Patel Brings Digital Fabrication and Robotics Expertise to Interior Architecture

misti patel's headshot

The School of Interior Architecture announces that Misri Patel has been named visiting assistant professor of practice and fellow. Patel brings a diverse base of research to the school that focuses on material systems, computational design and traditional-advanced fabrication methods.

“The thrust of my inquiries has been to question material logics that are most drastically shaping and challenging our built world and its respective industries,” Patel said. “I am profoundly interested in the influence of material system as an agent for coherent physical and social environments. Some of my recent research touched base on acoustics, cognitive science, human interaction, a discursive framework to situate digital and material research and applied robotic fabrication.”

After earning a bachelor of architecture at Balwant Sheth School of Architecture in Mumbai, India, Patel earned a master of science in Architecture, Digital Material Technology at the University of Michigan. Professional experience includes sP + a in Mumbai and LOT-EK in New York and shadowing at Perkins + Will in Los Angeles.

fabricated shapes
Kneucrete: Shan Chun Wen, Maryam Aljomairi & Misri Patel, 2019

“Misri joins us with strong research in digital fabrication, particularly robotics,” said Milagros Zingoni Phielipp, director of the School of Interior Architecture. “She can make things come together, from ideation to fabrications, using coding, logistics and materiality. Aligned with her interest in material systems and sensorial studies, she recently worked with the modification of the shape of glass at a variety of scales to influence a range of acoustic behaviors: Reflective, diffusive and absorptive.”

In fall 2021, Patel is leading a 3rd-year studio, where students will create responsible and responsive spaces through sensitive tools, while using material practices and fabrication techniques. This interrelationship foregrounds process as the means to understand the potentials and limitations of digital fabrication by creating a dialogue between form and function.

During the semester, the studio will pivot around the concepts of open floor plans for office spaces and their implications on acoustics. Through a series of hands-on lab sessions and material explorations, students will learn to use a craft-based approach to position designers as active makers. Leaning on traditional crafts, they will produce scaled prototypes using advanced digital fabrication techniques including robotic wire cutting and 3D extrusions using the robotics technology in the college’s 20,000-square-foot Fab Lab.

“We are excited to add one more different lens from which our students will look at design,” Zingoni said. “Our school is already the most diverse school of interior architecture in the country, and Misri’s education, background and experience expand our diversity even more.”

The School of Interior Architecture is one of four schools in the UT College of Architecture and Design, including the School of Architecture, School of Design and School of Landscape Architecture.


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Learn more about the robotic technology in our Fab Lab.

Read more about our School of Interior Architecture.