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 here.

Programme description

CITAstudio 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 CITAstudio place particular emphasis on project-based design-led inquiry in which tight iterative cycles of hypothesis, testing, experimenting and reflecting 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, verbal presentation and group discussion.

The programme is conceived as a two year programme 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.

Courses

Courses 2017/2018

Grasshopper and Simulation
GH and Simulation introduces students to fundamental concepts and methods in daylight, indoor climate and energy simulations, as well as the basics of flexible modelling and parametric design in Rhino/Grasshopper.  The course is based on the plugins Ladybug & Honeybee for Grasshopper.  Over 7 tutorials, students are introduced to examples of integrated simulation within the practice BIG, the gathering and visualizing of local weather data using Ladybug, simulation of hourly solar irradiation and solar hour calculations, and concepts around material properties assignment parameters such as  u, g, light reflection, and light transmittance.  During the course, students will also develop skills in performing simulations to establish daylight factor, illuminance, as well as energy models using EnergyPLUS.

Perspectives on Computation in Design and Theory
This course offers theoretical frameworks through which students may begin to conceptualize and critically reflect on the use of computation within their own design practice.  The course takes a format of group discussion, departing from readings that contextualize computational concepts relative to cultural, historical, formal and technical concerns. Through discussion and reflection, students begin to build their own positions that consider computation as a problem (in the non-negative sense) in contemporary design.

Design Led Coding
Design Led Coding introduces students to the use of scripting/programming techniques as an architectural design tool. Weekly group classes develop skills with the programming language Python, with additional assignments solved individually by each student in-between meetings. The course addresses and contextualize programming topics relative to questions of design methodology, building practice and aesthetics. This serves the purpose of avoiding a limiting focus on the development of technical skills alone, and opens up towards reflections on how computational methods may point towards architectural potentials, e.g. spatial organization, structural complexity or aesthetics, and ‘fit’ within design methodologies and workflows.

CITAsessions
CITAsessions is an informal bi-monthly lecture series.  Lectures are given by invited academics, practitioners and researchers from related fields, as well as through visiting architectural practices with special expertise in the application of digital concepts and workflows. The purpose is to introduce our students to a broader community, and to stimulate discussion around common concerns and issues of computation from a range of design practices and disciplines.

Workshops 2017/2018

Beyond weekly courses, a number of short workshops over the semester help develop relevant theoretical understandings, direct empirical knowledge, and digital approaches. Some of these workshops occur in collaboration with other candidate programmes.

The workshop 'Digital Fabrication and Performance Assessment: Methods for Experimentation' introduces students to core concepts and techniques for digital fabrication, performance-led design, sensing, and methods of experiment design and assessment.There is emphasis on design of experiment, sensing methodology and visualisation of data results. Through the strategic linking of making and testing of an experimental prototype, the workshop supports students in developing integrated understandings that connect making, purposeful performance and assessment.

The workshop '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 landscape of experimental design and academic practice, 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 studio yearbook 2015

Contact Student Service

Contact Student Service

Do you have questions about the Master's program? Contact KADK's student service and get guidance