Parametric Design and Digital Fabrication Course


Ionuț Anton (ART-Authorised Rhino Trainer), Dana Tănase (ART-Authorised Rhino Trainer)
Ion Mincu University for Architecture and Urbanism
Spring Semester 2013
Monsmedius, Fablab.ro, Modulab

As part of our ongoing research and interest to indroduce parametric design into the academic curricula of our univeristy, in spring 2013, we have organized an extracurricular course for students in the 4th and 5th year in UAUIM. And for the first time students had the opportunity to learn and experiment with parametric design and digital fabrication as part of their university education.
The course aim was to present and debate the basic concepts of digital design and to offer substance to a viral use of terms like ”parametric”, ”digital” and ”technology” and their relation to architecture. The course presented students with the basic knowledge to operate with parametric/algorithmic design, digital form finding, digital fabrication and how these tools can be integrated in a architectural design workflow. The reseach, done in collaborative groups of students were materialized into projects and physical models that were studied and discussed during the course.
Our main focus was the development of a relation between creativity as the main driver in architectural practice and the possibilities opened by the new digital tools. Through a series of lectures, guided learning sessions and experimets our aim was to give students the ability to undestand, apply and develop creative projects involving current digital tools.
The course focused on the use of Grasshopper and Rhino as the main digital tool. We chose the Grasshopper development environment due to its visual programming style that allows the development of a parametric and algorithmic model through a graphical user interface. Grasshopper offers an advantage ofer other traditional programming environments due to it’s visual and intuitive workflow that allows the user to easily make connections and geometrical relations in order to develop algorithms.
The results of the course are, in fact, traces of a complete digital workflow, that starts from a architectural concept that is translated into a digital algorithm. Using digital technologies our students integrated feedback loops in the design process, merging a intuitive thinking with a rule based design through a iterative filtering and polishing of the initial concepts, that materialize through digital fabrication means.
The effort of the students was awarded with an exhibition of the nine prototypes at the Architectural Anual 2013.

Students: Bădescu Raluca, Bagoly Levente, Calen Octavian, Catrina Alina, Costianu Daniel, Crețu George, Cristea Alexandru Mihai, Diaconu Ioana, Frățilă Cristian Teodor, Funieru Silvia, Leordan Ioana, Licșor Mădălina, Morariu Paul Mihai, Munteanu Cristina, Mureșan Oana, Olteanu Andrei, Oțelea Ana, Papuc Silviu Constantin, Patapievici Tudor, Poida Ștefan, Radu Cristian Dimitrie, Stan Ioana Lavinia, Târțau Cristina, Tomescu Eliza, Trifan Ion, Uram Madalina, Vișan Robert-Cristian,Voinea Claudia

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