Joy Ko’s work reflects her background and lifelong focus on design, mathematics and computation. She received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the Courant Institute, New York University. For her doctoral work, she used novel analytical methods to investigate differential equations on hyper-surfaces that have since proven to have wider application to panelization and relaxation algorithms. Her experience in computation spans more than a decade, including work as a software programmer at AT&T Bell Laboratories and research at Brown University computing water waves. Her design expertise lies in design computation, widely accepted as a necessary area of architectural practice, a rich area for design research and increasingly an essential topic in design education. She has lectured widely on this topic to audiences in academia and practice. Her upcoming book The Architect’s Field Guide to Computation (with Kyle Steinfeld, Routledge) is a concise guide that traverses the terrain between fundamentals of code and geometry and domain-specific application.
In 2008 Ko founded Generalized Solutions, LLC, a design consultancy that uses principles of mathematics and design computation to develop tools and approaches for the aesthetic and functional design of the built environment. She consults for architecture firms and collaborates with artisans and designers locally and on a national and international level. She was on the faculty of the Department of Mathematics at Brown University and currently holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Architecture at RISD.