This seminar assesses the present state of computational design by situating the digital turn in architecture within the long duration of the history of cultural technologies. It first describes the technical logics of hand-making, mechanical reproductions, and digital making, focusing on the early modern invention of architectural notations and of architectural authorship (the rise of the “Albertian paradigm” in the Renaissance), and on the modernist principle of standardization in the twentieth century. It then outlines a brief history of computation in architecture and of its theoretical and technical premises, and discusses the present state of digital design theory (theories and tools of simulation, optimization, discretization, material computation, and bio-computing). Students test some of the interpretive patterns presented or discussed in class by developing a case study of their choice (of a media object, object, building, software, theory, or technology). A fifteen-page paper option is available that can satisfy the History and Theory elective requirement. Limited enrollment.