Gabriele Mirra is a Computational Design Specialist and Data Scientist. He is currently doing a PhD on Artificial Intelligence in Design at the ‘Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning’ of the University of Melbourne.

In 2015 he graduated with Honours in Architecture (Master level) at the University of Naples Federico II (Italy) with a thesis entitled “Computational morphogenesis and construction of an acoustic shell for outdoor chamber music”. For this work, he developed a new methodology for the design of acoustic shells based on the combined use of an ad-hoc developed acoustic analysis software – Aeolus – and evolutionary algorithms. This methodology has been successfully applied for the design and optimisation of three acoustic shells, built for the “Villa Pennisi in Musica” Festival (Acireale, Italy) in the years 2015-2017.

Since 2015, and following his graduation, he worked on several research projects – with different research groups – some of which have already been finalised in publications on international conference proceedings like IASS, ICSA, Euronoise, and Auditorium Acoustics. In 2015, he joined the group as Computational Design Specialist developing computational tools to deal with acoustic and structural design problems, for both professional and research purposes

In 2017, he moved to Melbourne, Australia, where he collaborated with Dr. Alberto Pugnale (University of Melbourne) on a research project concerning the reinterpretation of Frei Otto’s tensile structures, from the specific point of view of the acoustic performance. At the same time, he worked as Robotics Technician at the Melbourne School of Design where he developed a computer vision system integrated with robotic arms for the construction of scale models (brick walls). Later in 2017, He also collaborated as Research Assistant on a project led by Prof. Roland Snooks (RMIT University) concerning the design of an acoustic pavilion – made by 3D printed PETC components – for the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne, Australia).

In 2018, he was asked by the Department of Architecture of the University of Naples Federico II to co-led the Architectural Design Workshop “Design the Sound” as part of the series of events that took place in Tianjin (China) during the “Tianjin Design Week 2018”.

In 2019 his project “Sketches of Thought: Inside the Black Box of AI” was selected for the Future Prototyping Exhibition held at the Melbourne School of Design (March 2020). The project consisted in an AI-powered system for design exploration based on sketching. Since January 2020 he is collaborating as Research Assistant on a research project named “Exploring the concept of ‘Parallel Practice’ through a Research Pavilion” funded by a research grant. The project aims to investigate the potential of reinforcement learning for the design of new structural forms.

His research interests include Artificial Intelligence for computational models of creative cognition and evolutionary algorithms for performance-driven design with a special focus on their application to structural and acoustic design.