Creative Design Prototyping

Required of: 
Architecture undergraduates
Preference Given to: 
Course 4 majors and minors


This semester our project focus will be discovery of Affordable Housing as Modern Minimalist Concrete Structures.

This is a hands-on course uses computer modeling and digital fabrication as a vehicle for teaching design process. The aim is to better understand computation and computational techniques exclusively through making. Students will develop insight on how to design and compute a small house through modeling and mostly making. Through weekly assignments and a creative process we will build new ideas related to the ways we believe we should live in a small house and learn about construction through prototyping. In this course you will learn how to discover building form, create modules and assemblies and building finishing and computer-generated patterns. The course deliverable will be a desktop model of a digitally fabricated enclosure as a kit of parts. The kit will include all of the basic features found in a small home build with digital fabrication machines.

Who Should Enroll

This course works best for undergraduates interested in design and building construction.  We will not teach computer modeling, students are expected to know how to create solid, mesh and parametric models. This course works best for students interested in the following:

  • Learning a complete design process: File to Fabrication
  • Applying generative CAD modeling techniques to a building projects
  • Building an online portfolio of a designed building

Learning Objectives

Students will master the following skills:

  1. How to apply a digitally based workflow leading to full scale digital manufacturing
  2. Master methods of online presentation of a small building
  3. Modeling methods beyond solids and rendering
  4. You will learn new forms of scripting and programing as part of model generation
  5. Physical production of concrete construction in architecture as an affordable system


Week            Topic

Discovery       1:16

  • 2/2 & 2/6               Design analysis
  • 2/9 & 2/11             Functions
  • 2/16 & 2/18            Forming          

Design          Scale 1:8

  • 2/23 & 2/25            Modulation
  • 3/1 & 3/3               Assembly
  • 3/8 & 3/10             Component

Development    Scale 1:4

  • 3/29 & 3/31            Optimization
  • 4/5 & 4/7               Excavation
  • 4/12 & 4/14            Tiling

Delivery         Scale 1:2

  • 4/19 & 4/21            Generative modeling A
  • 4/26 & 4/28            Generative modeling B
  • 5/3                         Presentation of a Tiny House