Topic outline

  • Computational design in architecture. Source:

    Computational Design special seminar

    Note: Lectures on Tuesdays at 15-17 at: Johanna - 113, Harald Herlin -Learning Center

    This seminar, arranged together by ELEC and ARTS, surveys the exciting field of computational design. The seminar goes through a cadre of top researchers and practitioners of computational design, from different fields, some from Aalto and some visiting speakers, and we learn to apply computational design methods to a project topic.

    Each meeting includes a 45 min speech and a 45 min roundtable discussion including the students, course staff, and the speaker. Pre-reading material related to the presentation will prepare you for each of them. The students, in teams of three, will develop a course project from a topic of their own, or a task proposed by the staff - we have some in mind which might interest you.

    The project is reported in a conference reporting format (see below). The the students get a chance to develop their academic, collaborative reporting skills as well. We hope to see excitement and cross-disciplinary teams.

    Learning goals

    After the seminar, the student:

    • Is familiar with the range of emerging opportunities in computational design methods.
    • Has applied a selected computational design method, suitable to their interest area of design.
    • Understands how to frame approaches such that the viewpoints of both computational sciences and design are considered. 


    20.9 Severi Uusitalo and Antti Oulasvirta - Introduction
    27.9. Perttu Hämäläinen - AI in Game Design 
    4.10. Pia Fricker – Computational Architecture
    NB! Monday 10.10. at 11 am to noon Daniel Berio - Procedural and computer aided design of graffiti art and calligraphy in room F101 in Väre
    NO seminar on Tuesday 11.10.
    18.10. Christian Guckelsberger - Computational creativity 
    25.10. Marja-Liisa Siikonen (MLS Lift Consulting Ltd) - People Flow 
    1.11.  Francois Mangion & William Bondin - I+A
    8.11. Jaakko Lehtinen (Aalto, NVIDIA) - Neural filters for creative professionals

    Please note change of venue and time!
    Wednesday 14.12. Final presentations (short) in room 126 Juho in the Learning Centre 15-16; afterwards EMMA exhibition In Search of the Present at the Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA), starting with introduction to the exhibition by curator Arja Miller.

    + Creative Technologies seminar speeches (optional) @Hybrid Stage, Learning Center downstairs
    3.11.  9-10 Jon McCormack, Christian Guckelsberger
    (1.12.  14-15 Geraint Wiggins)

    See recordings of selected talks in the Creative Technologies website.

    6.10  12-13 John Gero @ Otakaari 1, Y313
    Recording in .


    1. Learning diary for 1) four (4) presentations in this seminar and 2) two (2) presentations in the Creative Technologies seminar. Students are free to choose which events to report.

    2. Course project, reported as a research article manuscript following the CHI Late Breaking Work template. Target length 2000-3000 words. We encourage submitting project reports to student research competitions after later editing.

    3. Presentation of the outcomes.

  • On this sub-page there is guidance and submission boxes for the individual assignment types.

  • A few thematic project topics. Students are free to edit these and propose their own topics. Re-scoping needed. The list will be updated as the course progresses based on seminar talks.

    • A user interface for routing design for optimizing stroke ambulance siting, with the goal of minimizing response times.
    • A workflow for prompt-based generative AI systems (large language models) for interactive scenario/storyboard building. A case example to be included (w/ efficacy assessment?)
    • A workflow proposal for physical product design, involving (prompt based) generative AI tools.
    • An empirical evaluation of emerging LLM-based (large language model) tools for Photoshop  
    • A literature study of generative AI methods in field of X, where X is your design field. 
    • A workflow or interface proposal for human-in-the-loop optimization methods in X, where X is your design field. (HITL methods: see in particular Bayesian optimization)
    • A designer study of a Figma plug-in with AI capabilities (ask Antti)
    • A review of computational methods for assisting graphical UI design 
    • A user interface for using GPT-3 / Stable Diffusion for a creative task (you define).
    • A study of designers' starting to use AI (e.g., GPT-3, DALL-E, Stable Diffusion)
    • An evaluation of 3D assets (3d models) generated by AI (e.g., the Nvidia example Perttu showed)
    • Using LLMs (large language models like GPT-3, Dalle2) for evaluating user experience (without real users)
    • Social simulacra and their use in design (what, how?) 
    • Simulating individual differences among users with AI (where, how?)
    • Simulation studies of interior design using Virtual Home (
    • VR/AR experiencing of 3D models
    • Collaborations support for VR/AR in computational design
    • Helsinki city model (search for "Forum Virium") and its use for the design of the built environment
    • LLMs for ideating early-stage architectural designs
    • Scale models and 3D printing: support from computational design methods

  • Not available unless any of:
    • You are a(n) Student
    • You are a(n) Teacher

    Sep 20:

    Antti Oulasvirta:

    Severi Uusitalo: About Design, and case pendant lamp with IGA

    Sep 27:

    Perttu Hämäläinen: AI in Game Design

    Oct 4:

    Pia Fricker: Computational Architecture

    Oct 6 (video lecture; not part of official course plan, bonus lecture for those interested):

    John Gero: Your Mind and Brain on Design (video)

    Oct 18:

    Christian Guckelsberger: Computational creativity 

    Oct 25:

    Marja-Liisa Siikonen: People Flow Planning

    Excel sheet for sample computations

    Nov 1: