Theodora Vardouli

Assistant Professor
Theodora Vardouli
Contact Information
Email address: 
theodora.vardouli [at]
Macdonald-Harrington Building Room 311

M.Arch., P.G.Dip.(NTUA), S.M.Arch.S., Ph.D.(MIT)

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 


Research areas: 
Architectural computing
History of technology
Critical design and making

Theodora Vardouli is an Assistant Professor at the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University. Her research examines algorithmic techniques of describing, generating, and simulating architectural form and performance -- their histories, cultural meanings, and operational implications for creative design.

Vardouli is the founder and principal of CoDEx (Computational Design Exploratory), a research group that has received support by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture. CoDEx combines scholarly inquiry on social and material histories of design and computation with critical design and making with the aim to expose the inner workings of digital tools in their social, ethical, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions. Active research projects include investigation of activity in design methodology and its intersections with computer aided design research in postwar North America, genealogies of formalism at the interface of architecture and mathematics, and histories of drawing and diagramming practices that undergirded the algorithmization of architectural processes in the postwar period.

Before joining McGill University, Vardouli was Visiting Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute School of Architecture and Lecturer at the Boston Architectural College. Vardouli holds a PhD and a SMArchS in Design and Computation from MIT, where she was Presidential Fellow as well as a Fulbright Foundation, Onassis Foundation and A.G.Leventis Foundation Scholar, and a Master of Science in Design-Space-Culture from the National Technical University of Athens, where she also completed a Diploma in Architectural Engineering/MArch.

Vardouli's articles have been published in Leonardo, Design Studies, Perspective, Nexus, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Architectural Research Quarterly (ARQ) and several edited collections.
She is co-editor with Olga Touloumi of the collection of essays Computer Architectures: Constructing the Common Ground (Routledge 2020) and co-author with Daniel Cardoso Llach of Designing the Computational Image (forthcoming Applied Research and Design Publishing 2022) — a book catalogue of the eponymous 2018 exhibition and its Montreal expansion Vers un imaginaire numérique, which she is co-curating. Her in-progress monograph tentatively titled Graph Vision: Digital Architecture’s Skeletons (under contract with the MIT Press) offers a pre-history of digital architecture by focusing on the symbolic and physical prevalence of the mathematical object of the graph.

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