Shaping the built environment through the lenses of architecture, product design, and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Designing creative applications for new technology developments while maintaining a focus on real-world design and business concerns.

Looking for companies or individuals that have a strong mission statement seeking to innovate in the built environment with ventures that require expert level cross-disciplinary coordination.

Always open to discussing interesting collaborations, contract projects and general inquiries, please feel free to reach out.

Tyler Crain

tc [at] tylercrain.com

Education & Certifications

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

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
Human-Computer Interaction for User Experience Design
Executive Program
Issued Feb 2020


(co-inventor role for all, includes pending & assigned)

Vehicle Supply Chain Damage Tracking System
Filed: Feb 4, 2021
Patent #: US20210241438A1

Custom Color Printed Flexible Structure
Filed: July 10, 2020
Patent #: US20210008799A1

Method and System for Anonymous Checkout in a Store
Filed: Dec 5, 2018
Patent #: US20200184444A1

Tracking Product Items in an Automated-Checkout Store
Filed: Dec 5, 2018
Patent #: US20200184442A1

Robotic Arm with an Auto-Checkout System
Filed: Jan 27, 2020
Patent #: US20210241226A1

Camera and Mirror System within a Retail Store
Filed: Feb 7, 2020
Patent #: US10997835B1



  • Rhinoceros + Grasshopper
  • 3DS Max + Forest Pack, Vray, Railclone
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • Photoshop
  • After Effects
  • OMAX
  • Various 3D printing platforms


  • AutoCAD
  • Revit
  • Python
  • JavaScript (+Adobe Extendscript)
  • GSuite
  • Microsoft Office
  • Atlassian (Jira, Confluence)
  • MasterCAM
  • Unreal
  • Unity


  • HTML, XML, & CSS
  • Mudbox
  • ArcGIS
  • QGIS
  • Realflow
  • WUFI
  • MultiFrame



  • 3-axis milling - wood and plastics
  • Waterjet-cutting
  • Laser-cutting
  • Various 3D printing machines/materials


  • Sheet metal design/fabrication
  • Woodworking - traditional tools


  • Molding/casting
  • Arduino


AiFi Inc
Product Design Lead/Head of System Integration Design
August 2018-Present
San Francisco Bay Area, CA

  • Owner of AiFi's NanoStore efforts (autonomous, modular store format - first of its kind in the world); complete oversight of architectural design, construction, technology integration, and deployment
  • Project and account management of AiFi's first three U.S. public automated-checkout store deployments in Denver, CO and the SF Bay Area. From first call, through contract to automated store launch to the public, led system integration contractors and coordinated internal resources to release the largest non-Amazon automated store in the world.
  • Equipment, scoping, and project planning for 40+ automated stores
  • Camera coverage analysis and automated digital plan generation/aiming tool development for AiFi's auto-checkout system
  • Mechanical design and fabrication of company's smart shelve prototypes
  • Design guidance with external engineering and manufacturing teams to introduce AiFi's smart shelves in several store settings.
  • Consultation with many of the world's largest retailers to help align business, design and technology goals for their stores
  • Internal process development for new stores pipeline, client portal, auto-checkout technical documentation
  • 3D modeling simulation work for deployment QA purposes as well as AI synthetic data training pipeline 

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

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

Memberships & Affiliations

9th Avenue Owner's Association
Jan 2021 - Present
Oakland, CA

  • Management and maintenance coordination of a townhouse-style condo building homeowners’ association and its assets

Awards & Press

2018 - 2020 - Projects with AiFi featured in numerous publications, including but not limited to: Fortune, Forbes, CNBC, Techcrunch, Gizmodo, BusinessInsider, VentureBeat, etc.
2018 - Helped AiFi to win $300,000 Nvidia startup innovation prize with work on simulated data for AI model training
2017 - Portfolio content published in upcoming Routledge publication on Architecture Portfolios by Elisa Kim & Igor Marjanovic
2013-2017 - Images developed with MARCH published in New York Times, Curbed NYC, New York Yimby
2015 - Thesis project displayed in MIT I.D.C. at DA League conference on MIT Campus
2014 - Received Rosemary Danehy Grimshaw Award for Thesis Proposal at MIT
2014 - Received Marvin E. Goody Award for Thesis Proposal at MIT
2011 - Nomination for set building work for 2011 MTV video music awards for best art direction
2010 - Received honorable mention prize in Incheon, Korea urban design competition with Axi:Ome
2009 - Gallagher Grant at Washinton University in St. Louis