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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Undergraduate Course: Design Thinking and Digital Crafting (ARCH08038)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course represents an introduction to computational design and digital fabrication. You will explore how these two fields interact and complement each other. The technological possibilities to transform the digital into the physical by different means will be explored. The focus will be set on parametric/algorithmic design approaches and the related digital crafting techniques. You will be introduced to the digital work flow, managing data sets related to design and fabrication.
Course description The course will offer an introduction to digital computation and digital fabrication techniques and strategies on two levels of discourse: a theoretical and an applied one. You will be introduced to the methodology of the digital work flow. You will be educated in developing a critical and analytical approach to computational design and digital fabrication by introducing you to basic strategies in terms of digital computation and fabrication and offering an insight to the current theoretical debate regarding the 'Digital Turn' in architecture.

The first four weeks will comprise an introduction to the theoretical approaches behind the Digital Turn. You will be required to complete an individual analysis of a given case study and to present the reached conclusions.

Simultaneously to this stage you will be offered a set of tutorial hours for the dedicated software packages, and an introduction to a diverse range of digital fabrication techniques. You will be required to apply the newly gained knowledge in terms of form generation. You will be expected to make extensive use of the designated online and offline learning recourses throughout the semester.

There will be two critical reviews of work where you will present your developed projects. You will be expected to read key literature and to maintain your reading throughout the study period.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Environmental Practices (ARCH08051) AND Architectural Design: Elements (ARCH08001) AND Architectural Design: Assembly (ARCH08004)
Co-requisites Students MUST also take: Architectural Design: In Place (ARCH08007)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Materials for model-making.
If not using University machines, the student will need to obtain the 'Rhino 5' software package.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  24
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 15, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 11, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 16, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 149 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There is a single component of assessment. This is a curated portfolio of your work. That contributes 100% of your final mark. The digital portfolio will document the project outline, methodology, process of investigation, articulate the findings and include a written critical reflection. The summative portfolio submission is based on all of the Learning Outcomes for this Course.

The portfolio may include scripts digital and physical, models, drawings, paintings, installations and interactive media. The assessment criteria for the course is the demonstration of achieving the requirements described in the learning outcomes.

Your final grade for this course is based entirely on your portfolio submission at the end of the semester. The portfolio assessment is based on all of the learning outcomes that are weighted equally.
Feedback There will be formative reviews after the end of every exercise, including the presentation of the prepared case study, where verbal feedback will be provided.

Summative written feedback will be provided following submission of the final portfolio and all models.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Research and develop structured digital design and fabrication strategies using a digital methodology appropriate to the area of study, thus showing an urstanding of the digital workflow methodology.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to understand and interpret algorithmic/parametric architecture by comprehending the underlying digital logic.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to individually create a coherent specific computational workflow and to apply it on a self-developed project.
  4. Produce reflective documentation recording an investigative process.
  5. Communicate the aims, method, findings and conclusions through a carefully considered and crafted portfolio of work.
Reading List
Reading list:
-Agkathidis, A. (2010). Digital manufacturing in design and architecture. Amsterdam: Bis.
-Carpo, M. (2017). The second digital turn: Design beyond intelligence Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
-De Landa, M. (1997). A thousand years of nonlinear history (Swerve editions). New York: Zone Books.
-Menges, A. and Ahlquist, S., (2011). Computational Design Thinking. Chichester: Wiley.
-Tedeschi, A., Wirz, F., & Andreani, S. (2014). AAD, Algorithms-aided design : Parametric strategies using Grasshopper (First ed.).

Additional costs: Materials for model-making in case we make use of digital fabrication equipment of the University.
If not using University computers, the student will need to obtain the 'Rhino 6' software package.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - You will be able to understand and apply the fundamental principles of digital tools: skills in computational design and digital fabrication.

- You will have skills to research and develop structured digital design and fabrication strategies using a digital methodology appropriate to the area o study.

- You will acquire the ability to link crafting and digital techniques through a series of largely investigations.

- You will be able to organise a complex digital workflow: from design to manufacturing.
KeywordsComputational Design,Digital Fabrication,Digital Crafting,Design Thinking
Course organiserMr Georgios Berdos
Course secretaryMr Brendan Sweeney
Tel: (0131 6)50 6329
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