Computational Structural Design I

This course shows the potential of combining graphic statics with computational tools.

Link to the official course website.

Abstract

This course presents new structural design opportunities that emerge when the intuitive techniques of graphic statics are combined with computational tools. After a review of graphic statics fundamentals and an introduction to basic parametric tools, the course focuses on exploiting the user’s ability to interact with form and force diagrams within a computational environment with real-time visual feedback, in order to explore new structural design methods that are simply not possible with conventional tools. The practical potential and relevance of these new methods will be demonstrated through various design-oriented tutorials and exercises.

Learning goals

• Knowledge of graphic statics and fundamental principles
• Basic parametric thinking and modelling with Rhino and Grasshopper
• Introductory skills in Python scripting using the COMPAS framework
• Exploration of force-driven design methods using computational graphic statics
• Application of computational graphic statics in various design contexts

Exercise submissions

• Submission files to be uploaded as zip files (2 zip files per cluster: 1 tutorial and 1 exercise) to PolyBox (URL to be announced).
• Zip-filename: exercise-number_tutorial-or-exercise_sur-name_first-name (e.g.: 02_tutorial_zuse_konrad)

Grading

The course is graded based on:
• Tutorials: Completion and submission of the files after each tutorial session
• Exercises: Completion of the exercise tasks during the works sessions and at home (relevant files, and a short summarizing PDF document

Registration

Registration at http://www.mystudies.ethz.ch/ is required.

Literature

"The art of structures, Introduction to the functioning of structures in architecture" (Aurelio Muttoni, EPFL Press, 2011, ISBN-13: 978-0415610292, ISBN-10: 041561029X)

"Faustformel Tragwerksentwurf" (Philippe Block, Christoph Gengangel, Stefan Peters, DVA Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt 2013, ISBN: 978-3-421-03904-0)

"Form and Forces: Designing Efficient, Expressive Structures" (Edward Allen, Waclaw Zalewski, October 2009, ISBN: 978-0-470-17465-4)

Coordination

Dr. Juney Lee, Postdoctoral researcher

Dr. Lluis Enrique, Head of teaching