schemalab |ˈskiːmə|ˈlab |

An interdisciplinary research group exploring the use of Multi Agent Systems in Architecture, Engineering and Construction

Mission Statement

Our work focuses on the decomposition of architectural design problems and their computational modelling using an agent based approach in combination with numberical analyses. One of the core objectives is to explore the value of the emergent, non-standard, and geometrically intricate as a viable post fordist solution in a data driven design context.Through a series of research projects we explore different form generation strategies by: a) modelling requirement into multiple design agencies and b) coupling with optimization techniques.

Our vision is to to enable architects search larger solution space, aid their decision making and ultimately steer the design making process towards more informed yet novel solutions to complex design problems.

SchemaLab is located at the Viterbi School of Engineering dept. of Civil and Enviromental Engineering and
is supervised by: Dr. David J. Gerber

The research work is developed in collaboration with ph.D. students from:

- iLAB (Innovation in Integrated Informatics) at the dept. of Civil Engineering, led by prof. Burcin Becerik Gerber.
- Teamcore Group at the dept. of Computer Science,led by prof. Millind Tambe.
- Prof. Wendy Wood's research group at the Dornsife school of Psychology and Marshall School of Business.


The research is funded by the:
-Sustainable Energy Pathways(SEP) Program,Grant no:1231001, from National Science Foundation
And has been supported by:
Myronis Endowed Fellowship from the University of Southern California.
Onassis Foundation in Athens,Greece
Autodesk IDEA studio in San Francisco
Ikea Stiftung Foundation in Zurich,Switzerland


noun, (pl.schemata |-mətə| or schemas):

1. a representation of a theory in the form of a model: a schema of an agent based design methodology (technical).
2. an underlying organizational pattern or structure; the structure of a database system
(in computer programming).
3. a conception of what is common to all members of a class; a general or essential type or form(in Kantian philosophy).
4. form,figure , from Greek schêma (σχήμα)(origin: < 1790-1800).

Research Projects


Current Team

Past Team


  • -Gerber, D.J., Pantazis, E., Marcolino, L., & Heydarian, A. (2015a). A Multi Agent Systems for Design Simulation Framework: Experiments with Virtual Physical Social Feedback for Architecture. SIMAUD, (Bhooshan, S., & Samuelson, H., Eds.), pp. 1247-1254. Alexandria, VA, USA.

    -Gerber, D.J., Pantazis, E., & Marcolino, L.S. (2015b). Design Agency. In Computer-Aided Architectural Design Futures. The Next City-New Technologies and the Future of the Built Environment, (Celani, G., et al., Eds.), pp. 213-235. Springer.

    -Heydarian, A., Carneiro, J.P., Pantazis, E., Gerber, D., & Becerik-Gerber, B. (2015a). Default Conditions: A Reason for Design to Integrate Human Factors. In Sustainable Human–Building Ecosystems, pp. 54-62.

    -Heydarian, A., Pantazis, E., Carneiro, J.P., Gerber, D., & Becerik-Gerber, B. (2015b). Towards Understanding End-User Lighting Preferences in Office Spaces by Using Immersive Virtual Environments. Computing in Civil Engineering 2015, pp. 475-482. ASCE.

    -Heydarian, A., Pantazis, E., Gerber, D., & Becerik-Gerber, B. (2015c). Use of Immersive Virtual Environments to Understand Human-Building Interactions and Improve Building Design. In HCI International 2015-Posters’ Extended Abstracts, pp. 180-184. Springer.

    -Marcolino, L.S., Gerber, D., Kolev, B., Price, S., Pantazis, E., Tian, Y., & Tambe, M. (2015a). Agents vote for the environment: Designing energy-efficient architecture. AAAI Workshop on Computational Sustainability.

    -Marcolino, L.S., Xu, H., Gerber, D., Kolev, B., Price, S., Pantazis, E., & Tambe, M. (2015b). Agent teams for design problems. In COIN@ AAMAS, pp. 189-195. Istanbul, Turkey.

    -Pantazis, E., & Gerber, D.J. (2014). Material Swarm Articulations - New View Reciprocal Frame Canopy. 32nd eCaade: Fusion, (Thompson, E.M., Ed.), Vol. 1, pp. 463-473. Newcastle, England.

    -Pantazis, E., & Gerber, D.J. (2016). Designing with complexity, Interactive form finding of reciprocal frames through a multi-agent system. eCaade, Vol. 1. Oulu, Finland.

    -Pantazis, E., Gerber, D.J., & Wang, A. (2016). A Multi-Agent System for Design: Geometric Complexity in support of Building Performance. SIMAUD, (Ramtin, A., et al., Eds.), Vol. 1, pp. 137-143. London.

  • Contact

    We are open for collaborations, feedback and constructive criticism.
    Feel free to email us or visit our Blog to get an update of our current research activities!

    Schema Blog