Parametric Design in Architecture

Master's degree. Face-to-face.


UPC School


Parametric Geometry
6 ECTS. 42 teaching hours.

PG. 1 Foundations of architectural geometry

  • Coordinate systems and their application to CAD.
  • Analytical geometry (Part 1): vectors, lines and planes. Solids. Examples of art, design and architecture.
  • Analytical geometry (Part 2): the geometry of transformation. Iconic buildings that can be explained as transformations of simple solids.
  • Introduction to differential geometry: parametrization of curves and surfaces. A mathematical vision in CAD: free form tools. Simply constructible surfaces.
  • Introduction to resistance through form. Analysis of iconic buildings.

PG. 2 Introduction to programming

  • Programming in Python inside Grasshopper framework with GHpython applied to geometry (loops, conditionals, functions, recursion).
Digital Fabrication
6 ECTS. 42 teaching hours.

DF. 1 Introduction.

- Matter, machine, information.

DF.2 Machining.

- Rationalization of geometry for planar subtractive operations with numerical 2d cutting tools (laser, die cutters).

  • Rationalization: fabrication based remeshing. Strategies: Developable strips, PQ meshes, triangular strips, curved folding.

  • Mesh fabrication assessment and statistical analysis.

  • Fabrication optimization: nesting, joints.

- Superficial and volumetric subtractive operations with 3d tools (CNC milling machine). Mill tips, milling materials, toolpath. Analysis, experimentation and research.

  • General CNC and hardware instruction.

  • Toolpath coding.

  • Milling project with small and large machine.
Architecture in the 21st Century. From Sign to Algorithm?
6 ECTS. 42 teaching hours.
  • The theoretical and historical basis of this type of architecture should help to distinguish between a mere digital design and fabrication course from what we mean by architecture - which in this case is parametric. The method used is the one used in teaching disciplines in the projects, theory and history departments.
Workshop I: Studio 1. Information and Systems
9 ECTS. 63 teaching hours.

S1.0 Workshops.

  • Digital seminar: geometry bootcamp.

  • Physical seminar: topology and curvature.

  • Digital seminar: topology workshop: foundations of remeshing..

  • Digital seminar: optimization and evolutionary multi-criteria optimization.

S1.1 Form finding.

  • Form active and bending active strategies: implementation, simulation and analysis.

  • Form active: springs, catenary, funicular, trusses, tensile.

  • Bending active: compliant mechanisms, hinges, rods, planks, shells.

  • Complex modelling: hybrid systems.

S1.2 Building systems optimization.

  • Analysis and parametric modelling of case study building systems.

  • Building system adaptation to arbitrary surface and proposal of geometrical and constructive optimization.

Parametric Design and BIM
6 ECTS. 42 teaching hours.

BI.1 Analysis and optimization of structural systems.

  • Beams and trusses.

  • Shells.

  • Complex systems, BESO.

BI.2 Building energy performance analysis and optimization.

  • Solar heat gains.

  • Radiation analysis.

BI.3 Interoperability with other software and ACE industry.

  • Data management.

  • Software workflow optimization.

Algorithmics in Technology in Architecture
6 ECTS. 42 teaching hours.

AT.1 Algorithms in Form-Finding.

  • Specific algorithms in tensile form-finding.

  • Witness software analysis and use.

AT.2 Iterative design and dynamic relaxation.

  • Iterative and recursive design.

  • Integration with dynamic relaxation.

AT3. Advanced Programming.

  • Technology in architecture algorithms coding in Python.

Parametric Design in Planning and Landscape
6 ECTS. 42 teaching hours.

PL.1 Planning.

  • Work with large datasets and represent information at a metropolitan area scale.

  • Relate information from different sources either from open data administration or social networks data mining.

  • Create graphical representation languages able to allow both the visualization and the analysis.

PL.2 Landscape.

  • Develop a park project.

  • Focus on the interrelation of different parameters regarding vegetation, irrigation, drainage.

Workshop II: Studio 2. Postproduction and Building
9 ECTS. 63 teaching hours.

S2.0 Workshop.

  • Complex modelling and analysis.

  • Nonlinear analysis.

S2.0 Project.

  • Design project of architectural light weight system.

Master Thesis
6 ECTS. 10 teaching hours.
  • An original work/ project based on research, in which the student shows how parametric design has changed his/her skills when producing architectural designs. This research will be conducted with the assistance of a tutor and will be assessed by a jury of lecturers on the master's degree.

Master thesis gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/148997115@N05/albums
Information form
(34) 93 112 08 62


Next course:
October 2019

(388 teaching hours)

Monday  16:00 to 20:00Tuesday  16:00 to 20:00Wednesday  16:00 to 20:00
Taught at:
ETSAV - Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura del Vallès
C/ Pere Serra, 1-15
Sant Cugat del Vallès

Registration fee:
7.500 €

Language of instruction:

Print course details