The programme is structured into the following modules:
Module 1. Design and Computation Seminar – 6 ECTS
Module 2. Integral Envelopes Design Studio – 6 ECTS
Module 3. Digital Fabrication Laboratory – 6 ECTS
Module 4. Parametric Software and Programming – 6 ECTS
Module 5. Final Project. Time based formations through computational process – 6 ECTS
MODULE 1. DESIGN AND COMPUTATION SEMINAR
Seminar 1. Genetic vs Generative
Since Modernism began to wane, at the same time as the historical revisionism of style took place, architectural theory has shown great interest in positivist design methodologies.
Studies of architectural complexity and dynamic systems have sparked a renewed interest in networks, bottom-up methods, adaptive systems, genetics, and automatic form creation as the foundation for a new generation of design techniques.
In addition, the universalization of digital technologies in the last decade has allowed the necessary checks to be carried out and clear results to be produced from all this research.
The seminar will focus on new methodologies that offer a greater range of possibilities for architecture and establish solid bridges between theory and practice.
Seminar 2. Contemporary Paradigms in Computational Design
An analysis of various buildings and contemporary constructions made from strategies and tools similar to those studied in the course.
Students will carry out a case study of one of the examples discussed during the seminar, and a subsequent critical assessment of the architectural results, comparing the example with other buildings conceptualized and built in a distinct way.
Seminar 3. Talks
Three guests will discuss real-life examples, drawing from their own experiences with computer design tools in production, manufacturing and construction systems.
MODULE 2. INTEGRAL ENVELOPES DESIGN STUDIO
This is the first design workshop of the course. Here we will develop a system that can proliferate (grow and spread) and create forms with structural capacities and with differentiated porosity, which will later be used as an envelope and structure for the course project.
Phase 1. System Interrelations
The starting point of the workshop experiment is researching a biological situation in which the distinction between skin and structure is dissolved. This biological example will serve as a basis to extract and formulate specific relationships between the structural logics, the geometric principles and the performative aspects of the investigated system. The parametric variables and operational growth rules that govern the system will then be described.
Phase 2. System Capacity
Once the parametric variables of the material system have been established, an allometric growth process will be defined and developed so it proliferates. The growth gives rise to different species of system, or to a broader global system with differentiated subsets. Everything learned and understood about the system will be described in parameters. We will use Grasshopper to develop a series of tests and 3D models.
Phase 3. System Performance
We will focus on the performative aspects of the developed system. The main objective is to see how when parametric manipulations (stimuli) are applied, the system gives different formal responses.
MODULE 3. DIGITAL FABRICATION LABORATORY
Digital Fabrication Lab
In the CAD/CAM and Rapid Tools workshop, students are provided with the knowledge and skills to manufacture part of the material produced during the course with digital manufacturing tools. These tools will be used to explore the properties and results of CAD/CAM, both visual and tectonic.
CAD/CAM produces impressive results in the present day, but it’s important not to lose a certain critical focus on these productions, which can sometimes be too partial and superficial. What is important here is not the final object produced, but the use of the CAD/CAM tool to constantly inform the design process.
Manufacturing with CAD/CAM should help us rethink the design process. As a result, we will see what the mass production of non-standard differentiated objects means. This theoretical and practical course introduces students to digital production and the possibilities it offers designers as a platform for both testing ideas and producing final objects.
When thinking about a model to be built, consider the parameters. For example, if the shape needs to be curved, a strategy of building according to these more curved and smoother geometries may be best: for example, machined in the CNC or by 3D printing. If the drawn object is defined by polygonal shapes, based on lines, planes or triangles, consider a construction by sections, planes, triangulations, assemblies, unions, etc. with the laser cutting machine.
Here we aim not to create designs and subsequently decide on the finishing techniques, but to use the process itself to choose the best options for construction, material, form and so on.
MODULE 4. PARAMETRIC SOFTWARE AND PROGRAMMING
Parametric Software and Programming
The software that is the central tool of the course, Rhinoceros and Grasshoppe, is taught through tutorials and practice.
These programmes allow for the creation of complex morphologies by manipulating parameters. Using these digital tools, students will establish their own language to create systems of forms that become architectural and habitable spaces.
For designers exploring new shapes using generative algorithms, Grasshopper is a graphical algorithm editor tightly integrated with Rhino's 3D modeling tools. Unlike Rhino Script, Grasshopper requires no programming or scripting skills, but allows designers to build shape generators, ranging from the simple to the incredibly complex.
MODULE 5. FINAL PROJECT. TIME BASED FORMATIONS THROUGH COMPUTATIONAL PROCESS
During the course, we will explore both abstract inquiry (working with intrinsic logics) and responding to programme needs (friction with extrinsic logics).
This part of the course assumes a good command of the software, having finished and deepened in Module 2 (Integral Envelopes Design Studio), where students have developed a growth system with structural properties and its own tectonics. Here, students go a step further and incorporate extrinsic information (i.e., the conditions of the place, the use, certain simple programming needs) into the procedural design logics to generate friction between abstract research and extrinsic logics, thus forcing a dialogue between disparate narratives.
The challenge is to apply this knowledge in a real situation, with a real program, achieving an architectural proposal in a given environment. Two lines of work are proposed according to the interests of the student, where an architectural scale or an interior space scale is entered.
_ Option 1: Apply the system and volumetry created in the definition and development of a building, (museum, cultural center, activity center)
_ Option 2: Apply the system created in the course to the definition of the spaces, divisions, volumes, and textures of an interior (commercial space, retail, exhibition space)
The projects will be developed through 3D models, models produced with digital manufacturing strategies and rendered plans and infographics.