The programme is structured in 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 the Modern Movement began to fade away, which happened at the same time as markedly stylistic historicist revisions, architectural theory has shown great interest in positivist design methodologies.
Studies of architectural complexity and dynamic systems have stirred renewed interest in networks, bottom-up methods, adaptive systems, genetics and the automatic creation of form as the fundamentals of a new generation of design techniques.
Furthermore, the universalization of digital technologies in the last decade has made it possible, once and for all, to make the necessary verifications and produce clear results of all this research.
The seminar will focus on new methodologies that offer a wider range of possibilities for architecture and set up solid bridges between theory and praxis, by providing new ways of designing.
Seminar 2. Contemporary Paradigms in computational design
An analysis of various buildings, or contemporary constructions, made from similar strategies and tools to the ones that will be learned on in this postgraduate course.
A case study of one of the examples studied during the seminar and a subsequent critical assessment of the architectural results should be made, comparing it with buildings conceptualized and constructed in a totally different way.
Seminar 3. Talks (visiting professors)
Three guests will talk with real examples, and their own experience on production, manufacturing, and construction systems, with computer design tools.
MODULE 2. INTEGRAL ENVELOPES DESIGN STUDIO
This is the first design workshop of the course. Here we will develop a system that will be able to proliferate (grow and propagate) and create forms, with structural capabilities and 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 the investigation of a biological situation in which the distinction between structure and skin is dissolved. This biological example that we will have chosen will allow us to extract and formulate specific relations between the structural logics, the geometric principles, and the performative aspects of the system under investigation.
We will then describe the parametric variables and the operational growth rules that we believe govern the system.
Phase 2. System Capacity
Once the parametric variables of the material system have been established, an allometric growth process will be defined and developed to allow the proliferation of the system. The growth gives rise to different species of system or in a larger global system with differentiated sub-sites. Everything we have learned, understood, or described the system will be described in parameters and a series of tests and 3d grasshopper models will be developed.
Phase 3. System Performance
We will focus on the performative aspects of the developed system. The main objective is to see how through parametric manipulations (stimuli) the system will give different formal responses.
MODULE 3. DIGITAL FABRICATION LABORATORY
Digital Fabrication Lab
The objective of the workshop CADCAM and Rapid Tools is to provide the students with the knowledge to be able to fabricate some of the material produced during the course with digital manufacturing tools. With mentioned tools, we want to explore CADCAM properties and results, both visual and tectonic.
We know that what is produced today by CADCAM is certainly impressive, but we do not want to lose some critical approach about some of these productions, which are sometimes, from our point of view, too partial and superficial. It is not about producing definitive objects, but the tool CADCAM constantly inform us during the design process.
The CADCAM manufacturing should help us to rethink the design process. As a result, we will see what it means mass production of differentiated nonstandard objects. The course, theoretical and practical, is to introduce students to digital production and the possibilities it offers to designers, both as a platform for testing ideas such as production of final objects.
When we think about the model we must build; if the shapes of the objects created are curved, we should choose a strategy of building according to these more curved and smooth geometries, for example, machining on CNC or 3d printing. If the drawn object is defined by polygonal shapes, based on straight lines, planes, triangles, perhaps we should consider a construction by sections, planes, triangulations, assemblies, joints, etc. on the laser cutting machine.
It is not a question of making a design and at the end deciding its finishes, it is a question of the process itself informing us of which are the most favorable options, constructive, material, formal, etc. of our design.
MODULE 4. PARAMETRIC SOFTWARE AND PROGRAMMING
Parametric software and programming
Through tutorials and various exercises, we will learn how to use the software that will be the central tool of the course: Rhinoceros, Grasshopper.
The programme allows the creation of complex morphologies through the manipulation of parameters. Using these digital tools, we will establish our own language to create systems of forms that become architectural and habitable spaces.
For designers who are exploring new shapes using generative algorithms, Grasshopper is a graphical algorithm editor tightly integrated with Rhino’s 3-D modelling tools. Unlike Rhino Script, Grasshopper requires no knowledge of programming or scripting, but still allows designers to build form generators from the simple to the awe-inspiring.
MODULE 5. FINAL PROJECT. TIME BASED FORMATIONS THROUGH COMPUTATIONAL PROCESS
During the course, we will explore both abstract research (working with intrinsic logics) and responding to program needs (friction with extrinsic logics).
On the assumption that in this part of the course we already have a good command of the software, and having finished and deepened in Module 2 (Integral Envelopes Design Studio), where we will have developed a growth system, with structural properties, and with its own tectonics. We will go a step further and incorporate extrinsic information (e.g. site conditions, usage, incorporate certain simple programmatic needs) into our 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 programme, achieving an architectural proposal in a context environment. Two lines of work are proposed, depending on the student's interests, between an architectural scale and an interior space scale.
_ Option 1: Apply the system and volumetry created in the definition and development of a building (museum, cultural centre, centre for various activities).
_ 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 fabrication strategies and rendered plans and infographics.