Michael Scott Silver

Assistant Professor of Architecture


  • Architecture
  • Design Arts and Practices
Michael Silver

CAPLA East Building

Areas of Expertise

  • Advanced materials
  • Co-robotics
  • Design computation
  • Sustainable design


  • Master of Building Design, Columbia University
  • Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Pratt Institute


Mike Silver joined the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona in 2022. He holds a Master of Building Design from Columbia University and is both a LeFevre ’29 Research Fellow for the Knowlton School of Architecture in Columbus, Ohio, and a Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan. He was the director of digital media at the Yale School of Architecture from 2001-2004, a studio instructor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and a co-founder of the Center for Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies at the University of Buffalo. He is also the author of numerous books on the relationship between technology and building, including Pamphlet Architecture #19, Programming Cultures and Mapping in the Age of Digital Media.

With co-founder Yee Peng Chia, Mike co-directs Critical Systems (CrS), a minority-owned research and design lab based in Tucson and New York. In collaboration with computer scientists, mathematicians and process engineers, CrS works at a variety of scales and has extensive experience in the production of furniture, interiors, consumer products and buildings.

Today, Mike continues innovative research in the field of sustainable design, digital cartography, high-performance computing, mobile apps for construction, numerically controlled fiber-placement technology and leg-based co-robotics. As an experimental collaborator, he is deeply committed to the precise alignment of design poetics and construction. His work has received generous support from a wide range of organizations including the Institute for Social Studies at Cornell University, AIA, NYSCA and National Science Foundation. His work with Critical Systems been exhibited at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan, the IDC in Nagoya, Japan, the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., the Architecture League in New York and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. He also holds several U.S. patents for advanced composite structures with Automated Dynamics, Inc.

Select Publications


XXL-XS: New Directions in Ecological Design, edited by Mike Silver and Mitchel Joachim, ACTAR Books, Barcelona, Spain, 2016.

Programming Cultures: Architecture, Art and Science in the Age of Software, edited by Mike Silver, AD Magazine, Wiley/Academy, London, United Kingdom, 2006.

Mapping in the Age of Digital Media: The Yale Symposium, edited by Mike Silver, assistant editor Diana Balmori, Wiley/Academy, London, United Kingdom 2003.

Pamphlet Architecture: #19-Reading/Drawing/Building, Project Monograph by Mike Silver, with an introduction by Stan Allen, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, NY, 1996.


Empty Figures, Pidgin 28, Princeton University School of Architecture, 2020, Pp. 250-257.

Rise of the Servant Zombies, from Towards a Robotic Architecture, edited by Mahesh Daas and Andrew Wit, Gordon Goff, California, 2018, Pp. 250-257.

Skin Deep/Close Fit: from The LeFevre Fellowship: 2000-2017, edited by Benjamin Wilke, Applied Research+Design Publishing, San Francisco, California, 2017, Pp. 10-14.

Honors and Awards

  • U.S. patent granted for S-glass Fiber-Placed Truss: with Automated Dynamics, Pub. No.: US 2013/0180194 A1, 2016.
  • Architecture Magazine R+D Award: Citation for OSCR 1-4: On-Site Construction Robot, 2015.
  • Next Wave Design Competition: Grand Prize, NIDC, Nagoya, Japan, 1999.
  • New York Foundation for the Arts: Fellowship, NYFA Grants program, 1998.
  • Young Architects Competition: Architecture League Gallery, Architecture League of New York, 1996.

News, Research and Projects