Parametric Design in Architecture

Master's degree. Face-to-face.


UPC School

Master’s degree Parametric Design in Architecture is an international program that seeks to teach and explore technology efficiency. MPDA is oriented to the integration of computational tools and digital manufacturing technology in building systems and architectural design. MPDA focuses in :

  • Design and optimization of lightweight building systems, mainly through form-finding processes, including tensile architecture.

  • Integration with professional workflows and industrial standards, although keeping a wide space for experimentation, research and industry oriented innovation.

  • Generation of efficient form by efficient means: guiding computational thinking and tools to the simplification of processes and material efficiency.

The architectural project is a complex process, in which knowledge management must be linked to design in an operational way. In this regard, parameters are all the categories of information that affect decision-making when a project is carried out. This is the aim of parametric architecture: to go beyond geometry and the form, in order to design a system taking in all the variables/categories involved in the process. Hence the potential offered by modern software tools and programming frameworks (Grasshopper, Python), is to change the design process and turn architects into builders of systems.

This master's degree offers a comprehensive approach training professionals in advanced architectural creation,  oriented to efficiency in buildings and commitment to the environment. The course opens with practical digital and physical workshops on parametric software, geometry and numerical control machines, aimed at solving real problems in complex architectural design. The second semester, explores real applications through performance driven design aiming  to create interaction and synergies between parametric design and other disciplines such as BIM, urban design, planning, construction, structures, installations, services and climate in order to obtain more efficient and sustainable results.

It's taught at the Barcelona Metropolitan School of Architecture where its Model Workshop, Digital Laboratory and Technology and Innovation Research Team CODA support students to explore all the possibilities of parametric design.

Promoted by:


Students completing this master's degree will be able to work in offices, bringing new skills and knowledge that will allow them to tame complex architectural creation under the new paradigm based on parametric design:

  • Increase the design topological space while building resilient flexible design models.
  • Design and analysis of building systems, including lightweight systems.
  • Build expertise on rationalizing complicated geometry into complex structured data ready to fabricate.
  • Avoid unexpected overcharges linked to design changes.
  • Work in teams on interoperability platforms.
  • Apply optimization algorithms in any design field and at different design stages.
  • Identify patterns on large datasets.

Who is it for?

Graduates in architecture, building engineers, quantity surveyors and/or surveyors, industrial engineers in various fields, civil engineers, and technical engineers of public works.

Professionals including consultants, planners and interior designers who have skills in the field of architectural design, building or urban planning, and other professionals wishing to refocus or supplement their skills or begin their own business project.

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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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