259.554 Sondermodul "Experimental Structural Design and Computation"

2022S, VU, 8.0h, 10.0EC


  • Semester hours: 8.0
  • Credits: 10.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Presence

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to...

  • develop parametric design systems
  • analyze their systems with Finite Element Analysis
  • optimize structural systems
  • parametrically control a KUKA robot
  • develop robotic fabrication paths
  • 3d print and control machine paths using GCODE




Subject of course


Design usually follows a linear path from early conceptual developments to execution and fabrication. The digitalization of the design process enables the integration of simulation tools to the earlier stages of design, increasing the understanding of the designers on the structural behavior and design performance from early on. Consequently, the designers can easily access interdisciplinary knowledge and incorporate this in their design. Through this integration, a multi-scalar approach to design emerges. In this multi-scalar workflow, different aspects involving structural, environmental performance as well as fabrication constraints are considered in the initial phase of the design process.

This scientific course investigates this digital chain in order to motivate the students to develop interdisciplinary design thinking from design to production. Consequently, the students will learn to develop holistic design methods constructing feedback loops in between different stages of the design process. Along with the course, advanced simulation and optimization methods will be introduced to students to construct an interface between materialization and design. The main focus will be on the design for robotic assembly. The students will be asked to develop compression structures that can be robotically fabricated. The course tutors lay high importance on a holistic understanding of design and fabrication as a holistic process. Therefore presence is of high importance.


The general aim of the course is to establish a design laboratory, where the students will be exposed to scientific thinking in design through digital and analog experimentation techniques.

Teaching methods

This course follows an experimental didactic methodology aiming to concentrate knowledge and maximize the learning effects. Along the course challenges will be implemented, where the students are presented with a brief and asked to solve the tasks of the brief on-site (in the project room or in the library of the department) within a day. The challenges will cover the course topics handled at the tutorials during the course day. These will range from analog prototyping challenges to digital simulation, robotic steering, and robotic fabrication. Th groupwork is encouraged but to balance out the learning effect for everyone the groups will be mixed by the tutors for each challenge.



  • State of the Art in Structural Design
  • Modern digital & analog Production Methods
  • Emergence in Design
  • Design of Experiments
  • Inverse Kinematics
  • Machine Paths


  • Visual Coding of parametric Structural Designs
  • Analog Prototyping and Structural Analyzing
  • Robotic steering and control
  • Advanced Simulation using Evolutionary Solvers and Machine Learning(only when the participants achieve an advanced knowledge in gh)


  • robotic construction
  • analog prototyping

Mode of examination


Additional information





Course dates

Wed10:00 - 12:0002.03.2022 Bibliothek ITIKick Off
Mon10:00 - 14:0007.03.2022 ACEG05Hackathon 1 Cantilever Challenge
Mon10:00 - 18:0007.03.2022 - 27.06.2022Büro Weeky Work Day
Tue09:00 - 13:0008.03.2022Büro Workshop Simulation
Fri10:00 - 12:0011.03.2022 This lecture will be on ZOOM (LIVE)Introduction to Compression Structures in GERMAN
Mon10:00 - 18:0014.03.2022 ACEG05Hackathon 1 Cantilever Challenge 2.0
Tue09:00 - 13:0015.03.2022Büro Hackhaton_1 Discussion
Mon10:00 - 18:0004.04.2022 Bibliothek ITIHackathon 2 Robotic Painting
Fri10:00 - 12:0029.04.2022 This lecture will be on ZOOMCompression Structures in GERMAN
Mon10:00 - 16:0016.05.2022 Bibliothek ITIHackathon 3 Brick Challenge
Mon16:00 - 18:0016.05.2022 Bibliothek ITIZwischen Presentation Hackathon 03
Wed09:00 - 13:0008.06.2022 Bibliothek ITIZwischen Presentation Final Challenge
Wed09:00 - 18:0008.06.2022 Bibliothek ITICourse Day
Wed10:00 - 18:0029.06.2022Büro Final Presentation
Sondermodul "Experimental Structural Design and Computation" - Single appointments
Wed02.03.202210:00 - 12:00 Bibliothek ITIKick Off
Mon07.03.202210:00 - 14:00 ACEG05Hackathon 1 Cantilever Challenge
Mon07.03.202210:00 - 18:00Büro Weeky Work Day
Tue08.03.202209:00 - 13:00Büro Workshop Simulation
Fri11.03.202210:00 - 12:00 This lecture will be on ZOOMIntroduction to Compression Structures in GERMAN
Mon14.03.202210:00 - 18:00 ACEG05Hackathon 1 Cantilever Challenge 2.0
Mon14.03.202210:00 - 18:00Büro Weeky Work Day
Tue15.03.202209:00 - 13:00Büro Hackhaton_1 Discussion
Mon21.03.202210:00 - 18:00Büro Weeky Work Day
Mon28.03.202210:00 - 18:00Büro Weeky Work Day
Mon04.04.202210:00 - 18:00 Bibliothek ITIHackathon 2 Robotic Painting
Mon04.04.202210:00 - 18:00Büro Weeky Work Day
Mon25.04.202210:00 - 18:00Büro Weeky Work Day
Fri29.04.202210:00 - 12:00 This lecture will be on ZOOMCompression Structures in GERMAN
Mon02.05.202210:00 - 18:00Büro Weeky Work Day
Mon09.05.202210:00 - 18:00Büro Weeky Work Day
Mon16.05.202210:00 - 16:00 Bibliothek ITIHackathon 3 Brick Challenge
Mon16.05.202210:00 - 18:00Büro Weeky Work Day
Mon16.05.202216:00 - 18:00 Bibliothek ITIZwischen Presentation Hackathon 03
Mon23.05.202210:00 - 18:00Büro Weeky Work Day

Examination modalities

  • physical prototyping
  • computational design skills
  • commitment
  • attendance
  • responsibility
  • self-initiative
  • teamwork


TitleApplication beginApplication end
Theoriemodule Master14.02.2022 09:0021.02.2022 23:59


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
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No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

  • advanced Rhino/Grasshopper Skills
  • Computational Design Skills
  • basic knowledge in structural design

Accompanying courses

Continuative courses