Parametric Design in Architecture

Master's degree. Face-to-face.


UPC School
Shortly we will publish updated information about the new edition of this programme.

The emergence of ICTs has led to a paradigm shift in architecture. Parametric design, digital fabrication, 3D printing and prototyping are revolutionizing the architecture of the twenty-first century, and creating new avenues for new models of sectoral development and new multidisciplinary professional profiles able to meet the challenges of this socioeconomic change.

An architectural project is a complex process, in which knowledge management must be linked to design in an operational way. 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. This is the potential offered by modern software tools: Grasshopper, Rhinoceros, Revit, Dynamo, BIM (Building Information Modeling), etc.; which change the design process, making architects into builders of systems and not just models.

In this context, many courses today provide a partial perspective, based on the direct application of software in numerical control machines to produce complex objects. However, this master's degree offers a comprehensive approach: it trains professionals in advanced architectural creation, focusing on efficiency in buildings and a commitment to the environment.

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

  • 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.
  • Guiding computational thinking and tools to the simplification of processes: the generation of efficient form by efficient means, namely lightweightness, material efficiency, rationalization of complex surfaces, cutouts reduction, path minimizations, reusability, deployability.

It's taught at the l'Escola d'Arquitectura del Vallès (ETSAV), which has a residence for international students, as well as the latest technology in equipment and facilities. Its Model Workshop, digital laboratories and technology & innovation research teams CODA and SMIA,  as well as its involvement in the FAB-Lab Barcelona network of Digital Fabrication Centres, mean that students can explore all the possibilities of parametric design.

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Students completing this master's degree will be able to apply 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.

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:

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