Parametric Design in Architecture

Master's degree. Face-to-face.


UPC School


Studio 1
6 ECTS. 48 teaching hours.

S1.FF Form Finding of efficient structures

  • 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.BSO  Building System Optimization

  • Analysis and parametric modelling of case study building systems.

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

Digital Fabrication
6 ECTS. 48 teaching hours.

DF.2D Machining

Planar subtractive operations with 2d cutting tools:

  • Remeshing strategies.

  • Implementation of processing techniques on complex surfaces.

  • Metrics extraction, evaluation and statistical analysis, both local and global.

DF.3D Machining

Superficial and volumetric subtractive operations with a CNC milling machine:

  • General CNC and hardware instruction.

  • Toolpath coding.

  • Analysis, experimentation and research based on a milling project with small and large machines.

Parametric Geometry
5 ECTS. 40 teaching hours.

PG.AG Analytical 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.

PG.SG Synthetic Geometry

  • Coordinate Systems. Data structures and points. Lines, curves, vectors.

  • Surfaces, solids, planes.

  • Meshes. Mesh operations. Mesh tools. Dynamic meshes.

From Sign to Algorithm
5 ECTS. 40 teaching hours.
  • Introduction to Programming focuses on the very basic principles behind computer programs execution with an initiation to the design of algorithms using the Python language in Grasshopper environment. RhinoScriptSyntax and Math libraries are presented gradually along the course.
Workshops 1
5 ECTS. 40 teaching hours.
  • Digital seminar: Geometry and visual programming Bootcamp.

  • Physical seminar: Topology and curvature with a guest expert teacher.

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

Studio 2
6 ECTS. 48 teaching hours.

S2.BS Building System Design

  • Intensive physical building system experimentation.

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

  • Parametrization and modelling of physical behaviour.

  • Calibration of models.

  • Structural non-linear analysis.

S2.CA Collective Assembly
  •  Database Interoperability. Work in several files.
  • Refined structural analysis.

  • Fabrication and detailing.

  • Mockups.

  • Budget and planning.

Algorithmics in Technology
5 ECTS. 40 teaching hours.

AT.AFF Algorithms in Form Finding: Force density method + true deformation.

  • Algorithms in analysis: Linear and non-linear.

  • Algorithms in patterning: geodesics and patterns.

  • Other algorithms: drainage, sunlight, data manipulation¿

AT.CFF Algorithms in Form finding 2

  • Algorithmic thinking.

  • Recursion in visual programming.

  • Applied programming to membrane design.

AT.APY Advanced Programming in Python

  • Introduction to Rhinocommon.

  • Object-Oriented Programming.

  • GHPython Utilities for Parametric Design.

Planning and Landscape
5 ECTS. 40 teaching hours.

PL.DP Territory

  • Reality knowledge: Analysis through Indicators detection.

  • Data acquisition strategies: Open Data Administration, Social Networks Data mining.

  • Data processing: csv, shapefile formats.

  • Data visualization techniques.

PL.LD Landscape Design

  • Cut and fill.

  • Artificial topographies.

  • Basins generation.

  • Paths optimization.

  • Drainage approximation.

  • Vegetation and irrigation.

  • Solar radiation.

Building Information
6 ECTS. 48 teaching hours.

BI.ST Structure

  • Analysis and optimization of structural systems

  • Beams and trusses

  • Shells

  • Structural Optimization

BI.NRG Energy 

  • Building energy performance analysis and optimization

  • Solar Heat Gains

  • Radiation Analysi

BI.IO Interoperability

  • Fluid workflows within a team and other ACE industry software

  • IO Data management

  • Software workflow optimization

Workshops 2
5 ECTS. 40 teaching hours.
  • Isogeometric Analysis

  • Large Deformations and Form Finding

Master Thesis
6 ECTS. 16 teaching hours.

Master thesis is dedicated to generating original work, based on research, were the student will show how parametric design has changed his/her skills to produce architectural projects. This research work will be done under assistance of a tutor, one of the professors of the master, a will be evaluated by a jury of several members, from the faculty of the master.

Master thesis gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/148997115@N05/albums
The UPC School reserves the right to modify the contents of the programme, which may vary in order to better accommodate the course objectives.
Start admission
Information form
(34) 93 112 08 62

(448 teaching hours)

Start date:
Classes start:14/10/2019 Classes end:02/07/2020Programme ends: 24/09/2020
Monday  16:00 to 20:00Tuesday  16:00 to 20:00Wednesday  16:00 to 20:00Thursday  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:
8.500 €

Language of instruction:

Registration open until the beginning of the course or until end of vacancies.

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