Baharlou Studio - Home Page
Design Computation 1
Fall 2022
University of Virginia
SARC 6710-100: Lecture
Ehsan Baharlou, Dr.-Ing.

Design Computation 1


Computation has a profound impact on a contemporary understanding of architectural form, space, and structure. It shifts the way one perceives form, the way in which form is purposed, and the way in which form is produced. The course “Design Computation 1” introduced students to the fundamentals of computational design and computational design thinking in architecture. The course examined the potential of algorithmic logic to generate spatial structures by analyzing and abstracting architectural geometry.

In addition, this course introduced students to the principles of computational formation processes that incorporate observation, translation, abstraction, and generation. It also equipped students with computational skills to use the power of computation as not only a representational tool but also a generative one.

The course had three stages. Phase one introduced students to the basics of visual programming and geometric logic. The second phase examined the add-ons developed for the Grasshopper plug-in to Rhino to explore the processes from formation to materialization. Selected add-ons supported the generation, simulation, visualization, and fabrication of forms. Phase three explored parametric and algorithmic geometry through a series of examples to introduce students to architectural computation logics. Each session consisted of a seminar and exercises to assist students with computational design and thinking.

Image Credit

C. Geiger, J. Hirschlein, and N. Lindemann, ICD, University of Stuttgart, 2016.