About the programme

The programme is part of the 2-year Master's programme at the school of Architecture. Read more about the programme's academic content and structure.

The Computation in Architecture masters is structured around project-based experimentation and direct design engagement. These activities are supported by coursework that introduces modes of applied and reflective enquiry, as well as core skills through which students may begin to conceptualise, implement and critically reflect on the use of computation within their own design practice. Courses in modelling and simulation introduce students to parametric modelling, coding and performance-led design, and build skills in various types of structural and environmental simulations. Courses in digital fabrication introduce students to robotic fabrication, 3D scanning and 3D printing workflows, and sensing and actuation.

At Computation in Architecture you will

  • Develop a comprehensive and advanced knowledge of computational techniques, and their assumptions, abstractions, limits and opportunities within architectural design contexts
  • Develop advanced and practical skills in applying fabrication technologies to support design investigation, prototyping and synthesis
  • Develop personally directed research-informed architectural investigations that deploy digital design strategies to address architectural, structural, fabrication, programmatic and site-based issues

 

Programme description

Computation in Architecture is an established two-year Masters level programme that focuses upon examining architectural issues through critically situating computation and digital technologies in the processes of thinking, forming and producing architecture.

It places particular emphasis on the intersection between computation, fabrication, material and performance. The programme equips our students with core knowledge and understandings for addressing questions of site, complex building programme and related architectural issues through computational design methods and related theoretical concepts.

The programme fosters a dynamic, creative, intellectually rigorous and design-led environment that stimulates critical inquiry into the spatial, theoretical and technological consequences of digital design practice. More broadly, the programme aims to stimulate thinking on what it means to be a practicing architect through exposure to research led modes of design practice which prepare our students to engage with the evident expansion of roles within our profession.

Structure and Content

The working practices of Computation in Architecture place particular emphasis on project-based design-led inquiry in which tight iterative cycles of hypothesis, testing, experimentation and reflection are conducted through production. We challenge and support our students to develop personally directed architectural inquiries which make relevant and critical use of digital technologies.

To assist this we have structured the course predominantly around project-based experimentation and direct engagement, but other modes of reflective inquiry are also promoted including writing, informed reading, verbal presentation and group discussion. The program is conceived as a two-year program in which the first semester provides given group-based and individual projects for skilling-up.  An equal focus is put on representation and making - working with both computation and directly with hands-on 1:1 material experiment. The following three semesters provide our students with the space to delve into deep and speculative personally led inquiry.

We have a strong studio culture in which students work together on campus. The studio is based at the heart of the campus with the CITA research centre and the dedicated digital fabrication workshops right next to them. This close proximity ensure easy exchange between collegiate and students.

Courses

Courses 2018/2019

Digital Fabrication and Performance Assessment introduces students to core concepts and techniques for digital fabrication, performance-led design, 3D scanning, sensing and photogrammetry techniques, and methods of experimentation.

Flexible Modelling and Simulation introduces students to parametric modelling concepts and techniques using Grasshopper, and builds skills in various types of comfort / environmental simulations (including daylight, sunlight, glare) and visualizing weather data (e.g. wind, temperature, humidity, rain, solar radiation, cloud cover etc.).

Perspectives on Computation in Design and Theory offers theoretical frameworks through which students may begin to conceptualize and critically reflect on the use of computation within their own design practice, through the discussion of relevant readings.

Design Led Coding introduces students to the use of scripting/programming techniques as an architectural design tool. The course contextualizes programming topics relative to questions of design methodology, building practice and aesthetics, and through a focus on developing skill in python coding.

Robotic Fabrication introduces students to basic control, workflow and feedback strategies used within architectural and industrial robotics. Through group-based investigation of different fabrication strategies and the production of material outcomes, the course builds competence in integrating design with the state of the art in digital fabrication.

CITAsessions introduces students to a broader community of digital practitioners. Bi-monthly presentations given by invited academics, practitioners and researchers from related fields, and also via visits to Scandinavian architectural practices with particular expertise in the application of digital concepts and workflows.

Research Methodology: Theory and Practice introduces students to key concepts of research methodology including the role of hypothesis, identifying state-of-the-art, experimental practice, and the methods and role of evaluation. With a focus on Research-by-design, the course situates this particular methodology within a wider research landscape, thereby enabling students to understand and develop their own research practice through a solid understanding of existing methodologies. The course compliments introductory lectures and core reading with hands-on workshop-based experimentation focusing on Research-by-design methods and led by CITA researchers.

Language

Fluency in computational techniques is not a pre-requisite for joining the study group. Rather, we are interested in students with deep curiosity supported through commitment to learning and experimentation, that are intellectually ambitious and self-directed.

All teaching is in English.

CITA - Centre for Information Technology and Architecture

Centre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) is an innovative research environment exploring the emergent intersections between architecture and digital technologies.