YAN Chao

assistant professor

Room 402, Building C, CAUP, Tongji Univ.


Research Fields:

Agent-based Computational Design, Behavioral Performance, Modular Fabrication


Research Profile:

YAN Chao received his Bachelor of Architecture from Harbin Institute of Technology and Master of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), and later completed a PhD at Tongji University. Previously he was a visiting lecturer at China Academy of Art from 2014 to 2018, a postdoctoral researcher at Tongji University from 2019 to 2021 (winner of Shanghai Excellent Postdoctoral Researcher Program), and a visiting scholar at University of Virginia in 2019. His research focuses on agent-based system and embodied behavioral performance within the context of digital design and fabrication. He published more than 30 papers and 6 books; participated in Venice Architecture Biennale, Shenzhen/Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale, Shanghai Urban Space Art Season, Shanghai Biennale, and many other exhibitions at home and abroad. As a member of the DigitalFUTURES Organizing Committee, he has been organizing workshops, conferences, exhibitions, and publications over the years.


Grants and Awards:

1. Shanghai Excellent Postdoctoral Researcher Program, 2019-2021

2. “Research on Digital Design and Construction Techniques based on Traditional Material”, NSFC China General Program, 2016-2018 (PI: Philip F. Yuan)

3. “Research Center on Digital Construction Technology”, Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (PI: Philip F. Yuan)

4. “Research and Demonstration of the Intelligent Robotic Construction System for Building Engineering”, Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality, 2018-2020 (PI: Philip F. Yuan)


Current Courses:

1. Advanced Debates on Theory, History and Methodology of the Digital in Architecture (seminar) 

2. Digital Design Frontiers (seminar) 

3. Introduction to the Digital in Architecture (seminar) 

4. Design Fundamentals II (Design Studio)

5. Design Fundamentals III (Design Studio)

6. Thematic Design Studio II (Design Studio)

4. DigitalFUTURE Summer Workshop (workshop) 



1. Matter Aggregation (ORO Editions / Tongji University Press, 2021)

2. Digital Nature: Decoding Zhang Zhoujie Digital Lab (Tongji University Press, 2019)

3. Chao Yan, Philip F Yuan. Beyond Embodiment: An Existential Project of Digital Tectonics in the Post-humanist Discourses[C]. Proceedings of the CAADRIA 2021 Conference, 2021(03): 91-100.

4. Chao Yan. A Hybrid Creativity in Architecture: From Brain Plasticity to Augmented Design Intelligence[M]//Philip F. Yuan, Mike Xie, Neil Leach, Jiawei Yao, Xiang Wang edit. Architectural Intelligence. Springer, 2020(09): 75-84.

5. Philip F Yuan, Chao Yan*. Collaborative Networks of Robotic Construction[J]. Architectural Design, 2020(03): 74-81.

6. Chao Yan. Real Virtuality in the Process of Digitally Embedded Perception[C]. Proceedings of the CAADRIA 2018 Conference Volume 1, 2018(05): 91-100.

7. Chao Yan, Philip F Yuan. Spherical Perspective--Notational Drawing System for non-Euclidean Geometry[C]. Proceedings of the Computer Aided Architecture Design Future 2017 Conference (CAADFutures 2017), 2017(07): 259-275.

8. Philip F Yuan, Hua Chai, Chao Yan*, Jinjiang Zhou. Robotic Fabrication of Structure Performance-based Timber Grid-shell in Large-scale Building Scenario[C]. Proceedings of the Association for Computer Aided Design In Architecture 2016 Annual Conference (ACADIA 2016), 2016(10): 196-205.