Credits: 3

Schedule: 10.06.2019 - 23.08.2019

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course is split in two parts taking part at the beginning and at the end of the summer teaching period as one-week long workshop.

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Basic knowledge of algorithmic design with ability to write and execute own scripts as well as formulate design problems in code. Students will learn the basics of object-oriented programming paradigm using Python programming language with integration in Rhinoceros 5 CAD environment.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course deals with methods of algorithmic design applied to the field of architecture, landscape design and construction, as well as in the broad fields of industrial and product design. Although many architects still use computers much like they used analogue drawing boards, intrinsic capabilities of computers allow them to formalize their designs through code. This opens novel approaches in design thinking and articulation and gives architects, landscape architects and designers powerful tools for formalizing their work. This approach also captures and exploits the inherent contemporary condition - when drawings become data, it becomes possible to create what was previously undrawable.

Non-exhaustive list of topics: Python specific - data types, operators, conditionals, looping, functions, lists, classes, dictionaries; Rhino specific - rhinoscriptsyntax library, RhinoCommon SDK, NURBS modeling, transformation matrices, mesh modeling

Examples - random walk algorithms, attractor fields, Lindenmayer systems, particle systems, voxels, Monte Carlo method, curvature mapping, spatial aggregation of discrete parts, cellular automata, dynamic relaxation

The course is taught as an intense two-week long workshop (split in two parts) at the beginning and the end of summer teaching period. For the maximum amount of credits an individual design task has to be presented after the end of the workshop, with the possibility of integrating it into the adjoining workshop Design of Structures Digital Fabrication.


Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Assessment is based on successfully following daily tutorials and finishing an individual assignment.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

For 6 cr the total workload is 160 hrs. This includes input lectures (40 hrs), exercises (40 hrs), independent study (70 hrs), and final presentation (10 hrs). The course consists of two parts, each taught as one-week long workshop, and students have the option to do only one part in which case only 3cr are awarded.

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Course reader and technical manuals will be provided to students in digital format over MyCourses.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Working knowledge of Rhinoceros and Grasshopper (ARK-A2504 Software Basics 2 or equivalent & ARK-E2512 Parametric Design or equivalent)

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Pass / Fail

Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 



The order of priority for admitting students to courses at Aalto ARTS 1.1.2018 onwards (approved by The Committee of Arts, Design and Architecture on 10.10.2017)

The order of priority is as follows:

  1. students for whom the course is compulsory for their major/programme and who have scheduled it for the current academic year in their personal study plan (HOPS);
  2. exchange students for whom the course is a part of his/her officially approved learning agreement and scheduled to be taken during the current semester;
  3. students for whom the course is compulsory for their major/programme and who have not completed it yet;
  4. students, for whom the course is part of his/her major’s or programme’s alternative studies and has been scheduled in the student's PSP (HOPS) for the current academic year
  5. students, for whom the course is part of his/her major’s or programme’s alternative studies and who have not completed the requisite number of credits for alternative studies yet;
  6. students for whom the course is compulsory for their minor;
  7. students, for whom the course is part of his/her minor subject’s alternative studies and who have not completed the requisite number of credits for alternative studies yet;
  8. students who have applied for the course through a student mobility scheme (internal mobility within Aalto University, flexible study right (JOO) studies etc.);
  9. other students.


Courses that are intended to be multidisciplinary (e.g. UWAS courses) may apply an order of priority based on the learning outcomes of the course, while bearing in mind the university obligation of enabling students to complete their degrees within the normative duration of study set for the degree. The order of priority does not apply to courses organised by the Centre for General Studies or doctoral courses.

This decision on the order of priority does not influence the right of the teacher to define prerequisites for the course.


Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Detailed schedule will be announced in March/April


Registration and further information