Visual Programming

Summer Semester 2012   ICD Block Seminar
Arch. Geometry (Course Nr 2.2.4) (BSc Module 22790 / 22640)


Visual Programming
Associative Modelling of Architectural Systems through Graphical Programming
Prof. A. Menges, M. Dörstelmann

This seminar provides basic knowledge of parametric design methods by introducing the graphical script editor Grasshopper.

Parametric design tools are well established in nearly all design and construction disciplines. Improved end-user friendliness of these tools is a cause and effect of this development at the same time. One example is graphical programme languages, which define algorithms by arrangement of graphical elements and therefore are more intuitive to use than textual programming languages.

An expression of this development in architectural design is the graphical algorithm editor Grasshopper, which provides easy introduction to parametric design, without demanding programming or scripting skills. Since Grasshopper is very intuitive and easily accessible through its graphical interface, as well as increasingly powerful in the advancing of user skills and number of various plug-ins, it allows easy access to the potential of computational design.

A geometric system will be generated through associative modelling, based upon relevant parameters of, for instance, construction and assembly logic.  Material behaviour and environmental influences will be simulated, with their interrelations to other system parameters being analyzed through various plug-ins. Animation techniques will be employed to visualize the dynamic properties of the associative model and show its adaptive potential through the whole process.

The aim of the seminar is to extend the students digital toolbox, through exercises which will help to practice the new skills. 3d modelling skills in Rhino are required, but programming knowledge is not necessary.