207.025 materials and algorithms
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2022W, SE, 3.0h, 3.0EC
Quinn ECTS survey


  • Semester hours: 3.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: SE Seminar
  • Format: Presence

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to plan the use of new materials in modern architecture based on their properties and areas of application. Furthermore, the students know the basics for parametric and algorithmic design processes and the optimzation of form.

Subject of course

In contrast to the materials science lecture (in the Bachelor of Architecture) and materials in construction (Bachelor of Civil Engineering), this course does not deal with standard building materials, but with modern materials in connection with parametric planning. The topics "materials" and "parametric planning" are to be brought together.

A familiar approach to structural design is the construction of models, which are then tested for their load-bearing capacity with given material properties. In several iteration steps, geometry, material and design approach a suitable solution step by step. Pioneers such as Antonio Gaudi, Heinz Isler and Frei Otto reversed this approach early on. Often, their considerations did not begin with the form itself, but with material experiments that were able to develop their geometry from the given framework conditions. Suspension models were built, for example, in which loads were attached in the form of weights. With each change in these load cases, these suspension models also changed and took on ideal shapes. Each variation, represents a model with pure traction. The inversion of these forms logically leads to constructions that theoretically formed only normal forces and therefore very powerful forms. From today's point of view, one could understand this process as a parametric form-finding process. What is fascinating about it is that the form develops out of the requirement.

In the seminar the form finding will be done with the software "Phenotype" by Christoph Müller.

Teaching methods

Today, a wide range of digital tools enrich our repertoire as planners and designers. The aim of the course is to teach, explore and further develop contemporary form-finding processes using parametric and algorithmic tools, as well as physical material experiments. How can we develop constructions out of material today? How do material properties alter the resulting forms? How can we observe, understand, comprehend and ultimately use the interaction between material and form?
Contents are: Basics (static and building physics), load-bearing building materials, failure modes, furthermore: Blender3d, evolutionary optimization with the software "Phaenotyp" by Christoph Müller.

Project title in WS22 is: Modern variations of "old" existing steel structures. I.e., how would an "Eifel Tower" look like today, or an old railway bridge, or a hall with trusses etc.?

On October 12th the basics will be given and the use of the software Blender3d and Phaenotyp will be explained.

On some dates there will be short lectures, otherwise indiviuelle Projketbesprechungen are planned.

Lecturers are Karl Deix and Christoph Müller (expert consultant for the creation of 3D models).

Mode of examination


Additional information



Please consider the plagiarism guidelines of TU Wien when writing your seminar paper: Directive concerning the handling of plagiarism (PDF)



Course dates

Wed10:00 - 14:0009.11.2022Seminar room 1 Seminar
Wed10:00 - 14:0016.11.2022 - 25.01.2023Seminar room 1 Seminar
Wed10:00 - 14:0008.03.2023Seminar room 2 Abschluss
materials and algorithms - Single appointments
Wed09.11.202210:00 - 14:00Seminar room 1 Seminar
Wed16.11.202210:00 - 14:00Seminar room 1 Seminar
Wed23.11.202210:00 - 14:00Seminar room 1 Seminar
Wed30.11.202210:00 - 14:00Seminar room 1 Seminar
Wed07.12.202210:00 - 14:00Seminar room 1 Seminar
Wed14.12.202210:00 - 14:00Seminar room 1 Seminar
Wed11.01.202310:00 - 14:00Seminar room 1 Seminar
Wed18.01.202310:00 - 14:00Seminar room 1 Seminar
Wed25.01.202310:00 - 14:00Seminar room 1 Seminar
Wed08.03.202310:00 - 14:00Seminar room 2 Abschluss

Examination modalities

Creation of a 3D model in Blender3d. submission of the results in the form of a project paper and final presentation.


Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
31.08.2022 12:00 30.11.2022 12:00 30.11.2022 12:00


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
033 265 Civil Engineering Elective
066 505 Civil Engineering Science Elective
610 FW Elective Courses - Civil Engineering Elective


No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge




  • Attendance Required!