Aug. 29, 2023

New UCalgary SAPL assistant professor mixes architecture with AI

Jinmo Rhee to integrate design and computer science in Bachelor of Design in City Innovation program
Jinmo Rhee headshot.

With artificial intelligence (AI) use growing every day, merging design courses with the latest AI innovation is a top priority for Jinmo Rhee, as he becomes a new assistant professor with the University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL).

Rhee will contribute his expertise to SAPL’s Bachelor of Design in City Innovation (BDCI) program, focusing on the integration of design and computer science.

Rhee aims to create innovative curricula and courses that merge design and AI. "This fusion will not only enhance students' existing design knowledge, but also broaden their design perspectives by incorporating advanced technological solutions into future applications,” he says.

Rhee's academic background includes a PhD candidacy and MSc in computational design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), plus a Bachelor of Architecture with Honours from Korea National University of Arts. His unique perspective will influence course delivery, covering the crossroads of design, data science and computational design.

Previously a computational designer, architect and design scholar at CMU’s School of Architecture, Rhee explores the transformative potential of AI technologies within architectural design and built-environment research. His exceptional work in this field has earned him numerous accolades, including the Young CAADRIA Award from the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, and the Best Paper in Conference award, Issued by the Architectural Institute of Korea on January 2019.

As an entrepreneur in the field of generative design research, Rhee co-founded the Creative AI and Design Launchpad (CRAIDL) at CMU, a research initiative that concentrates on the intersection of AI and various fields, including art, design, engineering and architecture.

As an innovator, Rhee holds provisional patents related to media-control devices, diagrammatic image dataset generation with neural networks, and custom generative systems with adaptation mechanisms.

Rhee, a newcomer to Calgary, says he seeks inspiration from his surroundings. “I have a deep interest in immersing myself in various art forms, visiting art galleries, exploring urban spaces and finding inspiration in exploring different artworks and spaces,” he says.

In his new role, Rhee will delve deeper into the possibilities of generative design using AI, exploring possibilities for societal advancement. “My focus will be on conducting in-depth analyses to unearth novel insights into the urban structure of Calgary, utilizing AI-driven urban analysis techniques,” he says.

Rhee adds he is excited to, “embark on a new journey in a new city, within the realm of an esteemed institution.”

SAPL is equally as excited to welcome such a talented individual to the ranks of assistant professors.

UCalgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) prepares students for exciting and meaningful professional careers through the delivery of a distinctly unique design school experience. The SAPL combines a rich and interdisciplinary design-based philosophy with an entrepreneurial mindset, sharing a deep commitment to working with industry stakeholders and community leaders at local, national and international levels to address some of society’s biggest challenges in new and creative ways.