Computational Design Techniques and Design Thinking

Winter Semester 2020 / 2021 | ITECH Seminar
ITECH Module 49771
Master Module 47561, Computerbasiertes Entwerfen
Bachelor Module 22791, Computerbasiertes Entwerfen 1

ICD: Prof. A. Menges, T. Schwinn, Y. Tahouni, L. Nguyen

Computational Design Techniques and Design Thinking

Tuesday, 9:45 - 12:15

"An algorithm is a finite sequence of explicit, elementary instructions described in an exact, complete yet general manner" 1 .The application and execution of algorithms on a computer happens through programming languages, which enable computing procedure. This is a fundamental property of computation as a technical achievement, but also as a theoretical framework for design. Computation has a profound impact on a contemporary understanding of architectural form, space and structure. It shifts the way one perceives form, the way in which form is purposed, and the way in which form is produced. The fundamental concepts which underlie computational theory and techniques expose form as a subsidiary component of environment, and environment as a complex web of influences.

This seminar will investigate the potentials of algorithmic procedures for architectural design. It will provide an opportunity for the students to enhance their knowledge of algorithms by developing practical scripting skills, understanding theoretically relevant aspects of form generation and exploring mathematical principles underlying patterns in the physical world. Based on the investigation of related mathematics, relatively simple algorithms will be developed to produce complex systems within an architectural context.

The seminar is taught in English. Basic knowledge of Rhino and Grasshopper is a necessary prerequisite for this course. Each participant will have access to the entire library of generated forms and Grasshopper definitions developed throughout the seminar.


1 Ahlquist, S. and Menges, A., 2011, Computational Design Thinking. In Menges, A., Ahlquist, S. (eds.), Computational Design Thinking, John Wiley and Sons, London, pp. 10-29. (ISBN 978-0470665701)

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