Collaborative Courses won UC Forward Grant

UC Forward grant. Project-Based Collaborative Coursework for Developing Connected Transportation Network and Accessible Multimodal Hub in Uptown.

Co-PI: Heng Wei, Na Chen, Xinhao Wang, Jiaqi Ma, and Ming Tang. Total $27,500.

Goal and Objectives

The goal of the proposed project is to adapt and integrate a series of disciplinary courses from the existing CEAS and DAAP curriculums to produce products that proactively enhance the Uptown Innovation corridor from “smart” multimodal choice, transit-bike-pedestrian friendly, residential-business favorably perspectives. These collaborative courses will primarily target undergraduate students. Major activities associated with project design, research and system development will be executed at the 1819 Innovation Hub.

To fulfill the goal, the following objectives will be achieved through designated coursework:

  • Objective 1: To conduct the Uptown Transportation Demand and Planning Survey among community collaborators to inquiry the information about future socioeconomic trends, demographic and employment changes, land use demand, multimodal transportation vision, and transportation infrastructure needs for Uptown development.
  • Objective 2: To develop a conceptual design of the Uptown Transportation Network and Multimodal Transportation Hub to address the documented demand and needs, including access to bike infrastructure and pedestrian routes as an important part of the MLK “Grand Boulevard Plan”. The conceptual design also considers how the network and hub will enhance the visioning service and accessibility across all modes of movement among institutional assets and neighborhood in Uptown, the surrounding areas and the entire Cincinnati region.
  • Objective 3: To develop a conceptual design of the Multimodal Transportation Hub that will support BRT, Bus, Shuttle, Streetcar linkages and is proximate to a proposed LRT alignment. Commuter parking capacity is called for as the hub may have a direct link to SB I-71 off-ramp to MLK.
  • Objective 4: To produce the Concept of Operation in terms of the technological innovation in future with an overview of best practices in “smart mobility” that might be applicable to support the Uptown Transportation Network and Multimodal Transportation Hub.
  • Objective 5: To analyze, visualize, and compare social, economic, physical, and environmental consequences of different scenarios related to the Uptown Transportation Network and Multimodal Transportation Hub.

Collaborative Courses

Six courses from the existing CEAS and DAAP curriculums are selected to formulate the series of the collaborative courses (SCC) for producing the outcomes in alignment with the designated objectives. The SCC courses includes:

  • Course 1: PLAN5158/6058 – Transportation Planning, offered by Dr. Na Chen in Fall Semester 2018. This course provides the foundation for further analyses in other courses.
  • Course 2: CVE5110C/6110C – Advanced Transportation Engineering, offered by Dr. Heng Wei in Fall Semester 2018. This course works along with Course 1 to use the survey results as guides for producing the conceptual design of Uptown Transportation Network, which serves as the starting point for the following courses.
  • Course 3: CVE5112/6012 – Travel Demand Forecasting and Environmental Analysis, offered by Dr. Heng Wei in Spring Semester 2019. This course continues the Uptown Transportation Network design with a focus on the conceptual design of the Multimodal Transportation Hub.
  • Course 4: CVE5124/6024 – Highway Engineering and Safety, offered by Dr. Jiaqi Ma in Spring Semester 2019. This course accompanies Course 3 by providing alignment and geometric design of roadways associated with the Multimodal Transportation Hub.
  • Course 5: ARCH4002 – Urban Mobility Architecture Design Studio, offered by Ming Tang in Spring Semester 2019. This course will include the conceptual designs developed in Courses 2-4 to create a design responding the future urban mobility.
  • Course 6: PLAN5191/6091 – GIS Project Formulation & Management, offered by Dr. Xinhao Wang in Spring Semester 2019. This course takes the survey result (Course 1), Uptown Transportation Network design (Course 2), and Multimodal Transportation Hub design (Courses 3 and 4) and conceptual and schematic design (Course 5) and conducts spatial analysis to provide system-wide consequences of different development scenarios.
  • Course 7: Multi-Disciplinary Seminar.

project featured in UC Magazine

Flight of the future

UC students, faculty and industry leaders converge at the Live Well Collaborative to create innovative, internationally recognized technology for Boeing.

The project was norminated as the finalist of 2018 Crystal Cabin Award and exhibited at the Crystal Cabin Award at the Aircraft Interior Expo at the Hamburg Messe, Germany 04. 10-12.2018

read the full article here. 

By Jac Kern. UC Magazine

“DAAP professor Ming Tang’s specialty in design visualization, using interactive media like VR and AR to communicate a design concept, made him a perfect fit for this project.

“Sometimes you need a really strong visual to sell an idea,” Tang explains. “We quickly set up a pipeline involving students with graphic design, 3-D modeling and animation skills, scripting and programming as well as user interface. The team assembled some very big ideas into a model people can see and even interact with in VR and AR.”

read the full article here. 


paper in NCBDS conference

Ming Tang’s paper Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in the architectural design education  is presented at the 34th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student (NCBDS) 2018 conference

This paper explores teaching MR technology for design communication at the School of Architecture and Interior Design, University of Cincinnati. The author discusses the theoretical and technological framework of using MR in studio teaching, with a focus on its effectiveness of communication, user interface, and sensory-motor experience. The studio projects have been focused on the future architecture integrated with MR technology, where sensory-intensive, immersive experience would facilitate new ways of living. Students learned how to build an MR system and implemented their newly acquired skills to their projects. This new feedback loop allows a proposed space to be generated, visualized and shared quickly.

Several student projects were presented to demonstrate the future scenarios of using MR in Architecture. The paper also discusses student reflections on the impact of MR to future architecture education and practice. We believe the MR should be promoted and used in education to provide sensory experience and create a sense of reality. More importantly, it should become a playground which will allow students to explore, discover, evaluate and improve their design.

“Optical Illusions of Volume” exhibition in Venice

Mara Marcu, Ming Tang, Adam Schueler’s project “Optical Illusions of Volume” is exhibited at the ‘DATA & MATTER’ Exhibition in Venice
Palazzo Bembo, Riva del Carbon, Venice, Italy.  May 24th to November 25th 2018

“Optical Illusions of Volume” critiques the ubiquitous obsession with optimization in computational design and fabrication. As an alternative, “Bubbles” begins to exploit misbehaviors in the ideal file to factory methodology. The work reconciles conflicting attitudes between traditional CAD/CAM strategies, augmented reality, and analog post-processing techniques. The project employs the use of a lightweight sheet material, parametric design, holographic imaging, and investigates accidental and more intuitive assembly strategies. In this way, we develop techniques within the digital process that exploit a non-linear design and fabrication approach in which the human and the machine become increasingly disrespectful of each other’s artificially delineated boundary. Therefore, what are considered by norm flaws, or faulty formations, can open up intriguing opportunities in architecture, otherwise neglected.

Mara Marcu is an architect and professor of architecture at the University of Cincinnati, School of Architecture and Interior Design. Founder of MMXlll (which stands for Merely Maybe x Idyllic Imagination Inflicted–or simply– MM Thirteen), she structures her work around various collections. Their focus ranges from optical illusions of volume, mathematical experiments, the metamorphosis of two dimensional material to three dimensional form, the possibility of endless variation through human interaction, the natural versus the artificial (and “the everything else” that lies in between), emergent textures, degrees of transparency, breeding taxonomies to emergent primitives.

Ming Tang is an architect and professor of architecture at the University of Cincinnati, School of Architecture and Interior Design. He is the founding partner of TYA Design–a multi-disciplinary research practice which includes computational design, digital fabrication, BIM, performance driven design, virtual reality & augmented reality, crowd simulation & way-finding, and human-computer interaction (HCI).

Adam Schueler is an architectural designer, a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, School of Architecture and Interior Design and a Master of Architecture candidate at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. His work prioritizes a keen interest in the less than ideal, in the peculiar and the sublime over the ever-changing architectural style.




Augmented Reality through your mobile phones

Please scan the QR code, or follow this link below to download HP Reveal

01. Point your phone camera app at the QR code to scan.
02. Open the URL link in browser.
03. Download the “HP Reveal” app.
04. Follow the steps to install the app.
05. Re-point your phone to the QR code and scan again.
06. Open the URL link in browser.
07. Choose “follow.” You don’t need to sign in.
08. Open the “HP Reveal” app.
09. Scan the tracking image on the front.
10. You should see a virtual model pop up. Tap the object to switch display, or double tap to open our web page.


The ‘DATA & MATTER’ Exhibition is hosted by the GAA Foundation, European Cultural Centre that will take place at the Palazzo Bembo during the Architecture Venice Biennale 2018, from May 24th to November 25th 2018 in Venice, Italy.  This exhibition presents a group of projects by leading international designers using emerging and novel forms of reading and producing spatial conditions that connect/visualize data, responsive systems, and sensing/actuation technologies, through micro and macro scales. The exhibition takes the opportunity to exhibit a range of projects, side by side, that transform data as an abstraction into spatial and experiential configurations. It aims at triggering discussion and debate on how the use of data in design methodologies and theoretical discourses have evolved in the last two decades and why processes of data measurement, quantification, simulation, ubiquitous technologies and algorithmic control, and their integration into methods of making architectural form and spatial experiences, are becoming vital in academic and industry practices.
Room #13A

GGA Foundation
European Cultural Centre
Venice, Italy

Curatorial Team:
Marcella del Signore, Associate Professor, New York Institute of Technology, NY, USA
Nancy Diniz, Assistant Professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY, USA
Frank Melendez, Assistant Professor, City College of New York, CUNY, NY, USA


paper accepted at CAADRIA conference

Ming Tang’s paper From agent to avatar: Integrate avatar and agent simulation in the virtual reality for wayfinding is accepted at the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA) 2018 conference in Beijing, China.  This paper describes a study of using immersive virtual reality (VR) technology to analyze user behavior related to wayfinding, and integrated it with the multi-agent simulation and space syntax. Starting with a theoretical framework, the author discussed the constraints of agent-based simulation (ABS) and space syntax to construct the micro-level interactions within a simulated environment. The author then focuses on how cognitive behavior and spatial knowledge can be achieved with a player controlled avatar in response to other computer controlled agents in a VR environment. The multi-phase approach starts with defining the Avatar Agent VR system (AAVR), which is used for capturing an avatar’s movement in real time and form the spatial data, and then visualize the data with various representation methods. Combined with space syntax and ABS, AAVR can exam various avatars’ wayfinding behavioral related to gender, spatial recognition level, and spatial features such as light, sound, and architectural simulations.

Check out the full paper there:

Tang, M. From agent to avatar: Integrate avatar and agent simulation in the virtual reality for wayfinding. Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA). Beijing, China. 2018.