Dennis R. Shelden

Contact Information
  • Job Title: Associate Professor, School of Architecture
  • Alternate Job Title: Director, Digital Building Laboratory
    No affiliations selected.
  • Dennis Sheldon 03/2016

Dennis Shelden is an associate professor in the School of Architecture and director of the Digital Building Lab. He is an expert is applications of digital technology to building design, construction and operations. His experience spans across professorial practice, technology development, research and academia, in multiple architecture, building engineering and computing disciplines.

Before joining Georgia Tech, he was a senior member of Frank Gehry’s practice and technology initiatives for almost two decades. He served as Director of R&D and Director of Computing for Gehry Partners, leading the development of Gehry’s digital practice from 1997 until 2002.

In 2002, he co-founded Gehry Technologies, a technology development and consulting company focused on bringing advanced design and supply chain integration technologies to the AEC industry. He served as CTO of the company, launched the development of commercial software products and served as Project Executive on many of the world’s most recognizable and advanced construction projects.

Concurrently he was an associate professor of Practice in MIT’s Design and Computation program from 2005 to 2015, and has held positions at UCLA’s IDEAS Laboratory and the Southern Institute of Architecture. Shelden maintains strong ties to academic and industry research bodies. 

Educational Background
Ph.D. in Architecture, Design & Computation – MIT
M.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering, Information Technology  -- MIT
B.S. in Architecture -- MIT


  • Shelden D (2014) Information Complexity and the Detail
  • Architectural Design: The Detail, Volume 84, Issue 4, pp 92–97.
  • Shelden D (2012) Networked Space
    Architectural Design: Computational Works, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 36–41.
  • Shelden D (2012) Building Information Modeling and Professional Practice
    Gu, N., & Wang, X. ed. Computational Design Methods and Technologies: Applications in CAD, CAM and CAE Education. doi:10.4018/978-1-61350-180-1
  • Shelden D and Witt A (2011) Continuity and Rupture
    Architectural Design: Mathematics of Space, Volume 81, Issue 4, pp 36–43.
  • Shelden D (2009) Foreword
    Li D, hon. ed., et. al., Computational Constructs: Architectural Design, Logic and Theory, pp7-12.
  • Shelden D (2009) The Long Awaited Arrival of Architectural Geometry
    Journal of Computer-Aided Design, vol. 41 pp551-552.
  • Shelden D (2009) Information Modeling as a Paradigm Shift
    Architectural Design: Closing the Gap, vol. 79 no. 2, pp 80-83.
  • Witt A, Nolte T, and Shelden D (2009) Large Scale Concurrent Design: The Case of Fondation Louis Vuitton
    Proceedings of the Design Modeling Symposium Berlin 2009, University of the Arts Berlin.
  • Ku K, Pollalis S, Fischer M, Shelden D (2008) 3D Model-Based Collaboration in Design Development and Construction of Complex Shaped Buildings
    ITcon Vol. 13, Special Issue: Case Studies of BIM Use, pp. 258-285..
  • Riese M, and Shelden D (2008) Comprehensive International BIM With Full Owner Involvement
    Journal of Building Information Modeling, Fall 2008, pp28-29.
  • Chair, Legal and Contractual Committee
    National BIM Standard, March 7, 2007.
  • Shelden D (2006) Tectonics, Economics and the Reconfiguration of Practice
    Architectural Design: Programming Cultures, vol. 76 no. 4.
  • Shelden D (2006) Digital Design Environments and Multiplicity of Representation
    Shamiyeh, ed., Towards an Interactive and Integrative Design Process, DOM Publications, 2006.
  • Glymph J, Shelden D, Ceccato C, Mussel J, and Schober H (2004) A Parametric Strategy for Freeform Glass Structures Using Quadrilateral Planar Facets
    Automation in Construction, v.13, n.2.
  • Ramen M, Bein S, Hogan S, Shelden D (1996) Visualizing the Flow: Energy Simulation, Analysis and Engineering of Richard Meiers’ Phoenix Courthouse
    Civil Engineering, v66-6.
  • Shelden D, Pena Mora F, Williams J, Mitchell W (1997) The Collaborative Design Studio
    Computing in Civil Engineering, ASCE 4th Congress Proceedings, New York: ASCE, 0-7844-0250-7, pp403-410.
  • Shelden D, Bharwani S, Mitchell W, Williams J (1995) Requirements for Virtual Design Review
    Architectural Research Quarterly 1:2: pp80-89.
  • Cumali Z, Shelden D (1993) Application of Real Time Global Optimization to Building Energy Systems
  • Proceedings of the ASHRAE Winter Conference, Chicago, Il.

Interviews & Profiles

  • Joyce E Over the Horizon with Dennis Shelden, Gehry Technologies
    Engineering News Record, 11·14·2012.
  • Weil N 10 Questions for Gehry Technologies CTO Dennis Shelden
    CIO Magazine, 03·09·2012.
  • Minutillo J Behind the Curtain Wall
    Architectural Record, 09·2010.
  • Appelbaum A Frank Gehry’s Software Keeps Buildings on Budget
    The New York Times, 02·10·2009.
  • From Blueprint to Database
    The Economist Technology Quarterly, 06·05·2008.
  • Jana R Tools of the Imagination
    Business Week Online, 12·20·2006.
  • Williams A Tech Trends: A New Paradigm For Architecture, Engineering, And Construction
    CADALYST Magazine Cover Story, 11·01·2004.
  • Becker D  Bye-Bye, Blueprint: 3D Modeling Catches On
    ZDNet News, 10·04·2004.
  • Snoonian D New Gehry Technologies Will Enable Many To Boldly Go Where Only Frank Has Gone Before
    Architectural Record Innovation Magazine, 1st edition, 09·2004.
  • Perry T Dennis Shelden: Turning Dreams Into Reality
    IEEE Spectrum Magazine, 01·30·2004.
  • Day M Gehry, Dassault, and IBM Too
    AEC Magazine, 09·2003.
  • Surprises in Mind
    Private Universe Project In Mathematics, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
  • Barrow L Designs on Industrial Technology
    Architecture Week, 01·08·2003.
  • Goldstein H 4D: Science Fiction or Virtually Reality? 04·16·2001.
  • Lindsay B Digital Gehry: Material Resistance / Digital Construction
    Birkhauser, 2001.
  • Dennis Shelden: Bridging Gehry’s Designs to Reality
    Nikkei Architecture, 2001 3-19.
  • Interviews in books, documentaries, and articles on Gehry Technologies’ and Gehry Partners’ work and methods, including BBC, WGBH, New York Times Magazine.

Lectures & Panels (Selected)

  • Keynote Speaker: Construction as the New High Tech Industry
    Associated Schools of Construction Annual Conference, College Station, Texas 04·24·2015.
  • Information Architecture
    UCLA Lecture Series, Los Angeles, 2·24·2014.
  • Technology, Economics and the Future of Practice
    Colorado AIA Convention, Keystone Colorado, 10·11·2013.
  • Keynote Speaker: Information Architecture
    CAAD Futures, Shanghai China, 07·04·2013.
  • Keynote Speaker: Thinking and Making In A Digital Age
    Design and Technology Symposium, Harbin China, 08·27·2012.
  • Then, Now, Next 2002-2017
    Architectural Record Innovation Conference, New York, 10·17·2012.
  • Concurrent Design / Large Scale Collaboration
    USC Conference: Practical BIM, Los Angeles, 07·13·2012.
  • Big Data: Large Scale Collaborative Design
    AEC Technology Strategies Conference, Cambridge, 06·06·2012.
  • Process / Technology / Design: The Value Of Architecture In The 21st Century
    Digital Provocations Conference, Minnesota, 04·12·2012.
  • Buildings As Complex Systems
    Urban Systems Symposium, NY, 05·11·2011.
  • Beyond Descartes: Emerging Ontologies of Space, Form and Design
    The Mathematics of Sensible Things, Harvard GSD, Cambridge, 03·05·2010.
  • Keynote Speaker: Comprehensive Approaches to Technology Driven Project Delivery
    AEC Science & Technology Conference, Washington, DC, 12·10·2009.
  • Keynote Speaker: Parametric Modeling and Integrated Project Delivery
    Design Modeling Symposium, Berlin, Germany 10·07·2009.
  • Keynote Speaker: Rationalization, Complexity and Emerging Ontologies of Design
    Advances in Architectural Geometry, Vienna 09·15·2008.
  • The Work of Gehry Technologies, Turner Prize Lecture
    National Building Museum, Washington, DC, 10·03·2007.
  • Process and Technology Implications for Contemporary Practice
    Digital Craft and Collaboration in Today’s Architectural Practice, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, 09·07·2007.
  • Keynote Speaker: Building Modeling and Building Controls
    Building Automation 2007 Conference, Baltimore, MD, 03·23·2007.
  • Keynote Speaker: Symposium Series on Technology and Building Process Innovation
    RMIT Melbourne, University of Sydney, Queensland University of Technology Brisbane, 10·19-25·2006.
  • Design Transformations: Towards a 20th Century Framework for Design Computation and Cognition
    Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition, University of Sydney, Australia, 10·23·2006.
  • Keynote Speaker: Digital Practice
    BIPS Conference on Technology and the Danish Construction Industry, Odensee, Denmark, 10·09·2006.
  • Panelist and Organizer: Changing Practices
    AIA NY Technology and Architectural Practice Lecture Series, New York, NY, 6·13·2006.
  • Keynote Speaker
    Construction Specification Institute 50th Annual Convention, Las Vegas, NV,  04·29·2006.
  • Panelist: Building Information Modeling: Owners, Architects, Engineers & Contractors Confront The Future, Today
    Engineering News Record Top Firm Leaders’ Forum. Los Angeles, CA 09·28·2005.
  • Digital Design for Complex Geometric Structures
    National Building Museum, Washington DC, 09·07·2005.
  • Rationality, A-Rationality and Complexity in Design
    Non Standard Praxis Conference, Cambridge, MA 09·25·2004.
  • Digital Project: Expanding the Possibilities for Fostering Change in the Building Construction Process
    AIA NY Technology and Architectural Practice Lecture Series, 10·12·2004.
  • Manifold Grammars: Topological Implications of Generative Design
    Design, Computing and Cognition Conference 2004, MIT, 07·17·2004.
  • Symposium Organizer and Panelist: Building Stata, A Symposium on Digital Practice
    Cambridge, MA, 05·06·2004.
  • Speaker: From Potato Chips to Computer Chips
    Museum of Contemporary Art / LA Architect Magazine Forum on Design Innovation, Los Angeles 02·25·2004.
  • Geometry, Representation, and Design Cognition
    Science, Technology & Society NSF Workshop on Visualization & Professional Identity, MIT, 09·18·2003.
  • Digital Media and the Representation of Design Intent
    1st International DOM Conference, Ars Electronica Center, Kunstuniverstität Linz, 03·22·2003.
  • Panelist: Industry & Educational Transformations Through Technology
    ACADIA Conference, Pomona, CA, 10·27·2002.
  • Managing Complexity: Rethinking Systems Methodologies on Innovative Construction Projects
    Design and Computation Lecture Series, MIT, 04·24·2002.
  • The Physical and the Rational
    University of Auburn, Department of Architecture Lecture Series 03·11·2002.
  • Keynote Speaker
    Digital Design: A Symposium with Leading Industry Experts, Guggenheim Museum New York, 07·25·2001.
  • Keynote Speaker
    8th International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering, Stanford University, 08·14·2000.

Additional Information


College of Design, School of Architecture, DBL - Digital Building Lab

  • Created By: Tia Jewell
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Mar 29, 2016 - 7:09am
  • Last Updated: Jul 25, 2016 - 10:40am