Home Page / Resume

I am a design technologist specializing in architectural environments. I have an entrepreneurial mindset and have worked as an architectural designer, product designer, technical artist, fabricator, and amateur photographer. My work often touches robotics, assembly systems, advanced fabrication and construction techniques, photo-realistic computer graphics, emerging material technologies, and simulation. I studied architecture, design computation, and art at Washington University in St. Louis and MIT.  Outside my work, I also have a love for music, bikes, motorcycles, and pretty much anything outdoors.

I am always open to interesting collaborations, contract projects and general inquiries, feel free to reach out.

Tyler Crain

tc [at] tylercrain.com

Download a pdf version of resume here.


MIT School of Architecture + Planning
Master's of Architecture

Washington University in St. Louis - Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
Bachelor of Arts in Architecture

Minor in Art



Vehicle Supply Chain Damage Tracking System

Filed Feb 4, 2021 | Patent issuer and number - us 17/167,039

Custom Color Printed Flexible Structure

Filed Jul 10, 2020  | Patent issuer and number - us 62/872,449

Robotic Arm With An Auto-Checkout System

Filed Jan 27, 2020  | Patent issuer and number - us 00000000000

Tracking Product Items in an Automated-Checkout Store

Filed Apr 3, 2019  | Patent issuer and number - us 62/775,837

Method and system for anonymous checkout in a store

Issued Dec 5, 2018  | Patent issuer and number - us 62/775,837

Smart Shelf Hardware

Filed Dec 5, 2018  | Patent issuer and number - us 62/775,837

Retail Product Registration System

Filed Dec 5, 2018  | Patent issuer and number - us 62/775,840


AiFi Inc
Product Design Lead
August 2018-Present
Santa Clara, CA

  • Project management of Nanostore design/construction
  • Led technical documentation efforts for increased product deployment scalability
  • Consulted on all client store design and construction projects
  • Design and consultation for trade show exhibits
  • Managed AiFi office design, construction, and installation as the team expanded into a new 10,000 square foot space
  • Designed new product concepts 
  • Produced marketing content in the form of photographs, renderings, drawings, and copy
  • Wireframing dashboard user interfaces
  • Initiated various company standards and organization workflows
  • Mechanical design of sensor-embedded Smart Shelves
  • Worked closely with large retail clients' (Ahold, Carrefour, Valora, etc.)
  • Building the world's first autonomous auto-checkout stores (Smart Shelves and architecture) helped the company to raise a $12 million series A round
  • Holding three joint patents with other AiFi colleagues
  • Worked in close collaboration with AiFi's larger team of software engineers and researchers to align software and hardware efforts
  • Collaborated closely with clients to help assess and address project-related issues and overall market strategies

Technical Artist
January 2018-August 2018 
Santa Clara, CA

  • Deep learning training data production for various computer vision applications
  • Developed/designed new workflows for data collection
  • Increased realism of synthetic data and optimized rendering speeds
  • Produced animation and still graphics content for fundraising, competitions, marketing efforts
  • Concept store design and animation leading to $300,000 Nvidia Inception award for startups
  • Led 3D scanner testing
  • Transitioned into hardware role as synthetic data pipeline matured and need for hardware design, management, and procurement increased

Ninth Avenue Owners' Association


March 2021-Present

Oakland, CA

  • Part time role managing a homeowners association

Architectural Computer Graphics Professional
June 2013-April 2017
New York, NY

  • Headed development of spherical imagery and animation web interface technology (Javascript, HTML, XML)
  • Developed custom Javascript tools using Adobe Extendscript that integrate compositing workflow between 3DS Max and After Effects. Estimated to save users multiple hours on each project, resulting in hundreds of hours of gains annually.
  • Designed document for procuring digital and physical asset collection for project initialization
  • Assisted in the research and development of new virtual reality workflows for commercial use
  • Served as in-house backplate and HDRI photographer for projects with construction sites in New York City
  • In collaboration with other team members, modeling, texturing, lighting, backplate photography, and post-production of marketing visualization was completed in varying capacities for the following projects:
  • One Bennett Park (Related and Robert A.M. Stern Architects)
  • Monad Terrace (JDS Development, Jean Nouvel Architects)
  • 34 Prince Street (Time Equities, Inc., Marvel Architects)
  • 111 Leroy St (Property Markets Group, Douglas Elliman, Workshop/APD)
  • 111 Murray St (Fisher Brothers, Douglas Elliman, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates)
  • 626 1st Avenue, NYC (JDS Development Group, SHoP Architects)
  • One Great Jones Alley (Madison Realty Capital)
  • 'The Getty' (Shvo Development, Peter Marino Architects)
  • 625 West 57th (Durst, BIG Architects)
  • The Flynn (IGI Development, ODA Architects)
  • EOS (Durst)
  • 224 Mulberry St. (Flank Architecture & Development)
  • 180 Avenue of the Americas (Quinlan Development Group/Tavros Capital Partners, Douglas Elliman, BKSK Architects)
  • 540 West 49th St. (Perkins Eastman)

MIT Self-Assembly Lab
Research Assistant
January-June 2014
Cambridge, MA

  • Collaborated on projects for prototyping novel fabrication and architectural assembly methods based on the concept of material computation and self-assembling parts. Worked with Skylar Tibbits and several fellow graduate and undergraduate students in architecture and engineering
  • Directed Fluid Lattices project in conceptual phase to develop small, 3-dimensionally packable lattice structures that can form structural aggregates in fluids with random, fluctuating currents.
  • Worked with Skylar Tibbits and PhD students at Stuttgart University’s Institute for Computational Design program to develop the Aero Aggregates project in concept stages. The project consists of small units that assemble themselves via randomized air currents in a contained space.

MIT School of Architecture + Planning
Fabrication Assistant
June 2012-June 2013
Cambridge, MA

  • Monitoring shop facilities, assistance with 3-axis CNC milling, 3D printing, waterjet cutting, laser cutting, toolpathing and file preparation, furniture fabrication, etc.
  • Fabricated seven workbenches for the woodshop and digital fabrication lab at the School of Architecture + Planning
  • Maintained safe operation of two shop facilities on all equipment
  • Routine machine and shop maintenance and logistics

Ball-Nogues Studio
Art Studio Intern
October 2010-Feb. 2011
Los Angeles, CA

Architectural Intern
July-October 2010
St. Louis, MO

Architectural Intern
May-August 2011
Los Angeles, CA

  • Assisted in design of nine floors of Gwangju digital media production center, housing server centers, audio production studios and a small theater
  • Parametric modeling and exploration for in-house research and development on haptic modeling interface and sensory input
  • Concept presentation drawings

Contract Design, Visualization, Fabrication, Web, and Art
St. Louis, Los Angeles, New York, Florence, & Boston

  • Website design for Royalty Compliance Organization
  • Architectural visualization for Gensler, Texas Medical Center, Selgascano, Rafal Zeilinski
  • Design/illustration
  • Fine art photography sold to private collections
  • Set building for award-nominated Death Cab for Cutie music video
  • Fabrication work for 'Objects by Architects' exhibition at MIT, curated by Sarah Hirschman
  • Patent drawings for various product designs

Awards & Press

  • AiFi Nanostore mentions in VentureBeat, Forbes
  • AiFi synthetic data mention in TechCrunch
  • AiFi Auto-Checkout system mention in Business Insider, Gizmodo, Engadget, TechSpot, CB Insights, and many more
  • Rosemary Danehy Grimshaw Award for Thesis Proposal
  • Marvin E. Goody Award for Thesis Proposal
  • Architectural visualizations published in New York Times, Curbed NYC, New York Yimby, USA Today, architects' websites, clients' websites, marketing agency websites, etc.
  • Thesis project displayed in MIT I.D.C. at DA League conference on MIT Campus
  • Published photography in Mark Magazine, American Photo on Campus magazine, Ball-Nogues website, Boston.com, MIT SA+P website, The Maneater Newspaper, etc.
  • Winner of MIT SA+P pavilion design competition with Dave Miranowski, Chris Mackey, and Brian Hoffer
  • Interview with MIT's The Tech newspaper on Kerf project. 
  • 'Tunable House' project documented for MIT archive
  • Honorable mention prize in Incheon, Korea urban design competition with Axi:Ome
  • Set construction collaboration nominated for 2011 MTV video music awards for best art direction 
  • Widmann Award nominee for most outstanding graduating architecture student at Washington University in St. Louis


Technical Expertise

software + programming

  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • Photoshop
  • After Effects
  • Microsoft Office
  • Rhinoceros
  • Grasshopper
  • 3DS Max
  • Unreal
  • Forest Pack
  • Vray
  • Railclone
  • MasterCAM
  • OMAX waterjet
  • AutoCAD
  • 3D Printing
  • Realflow
  • WUFI
  • MultiFrame
  • Python
  • Extendscript
  • Javascript
  • HTML & CSS
  • Revit
  • Mudbox
  • Z-Brush
  • ArcGIS


  • waterjet cutting (OMAX)
  • various sheet metal fabrication machines and tooling
  • laser-cutting
  • 3-axis CNC milling
  • 3D printing (Makerbot, Formlabs, Zcorp, Dimension)
  • SLR Photography
  • standard woodworking tools
  • molding/casting
  • Arduino