parametric design workshop in dubai, sharjah, united arab emirates, abu dhabi, uae


Fabricated Topologies – advanced grasshopper workshop & digital fabrication
Dubai, Jan 17-21, 2017

// Abstract
Digital technologies are expanding what we conceive to be spatially and materially possible. Design to making is gradually mediated through a process wherein the implementation of digital tools is blurring the gap between conception and production. By integrating design, analysis, simulation, manufacturing techniques, and the assembly of building components in a feedback loop, architects are now able to venture into new territories of forms and spatial experience made possible with bespoke digital processes.

// Introduction
“Fabricated Topologies” explores form-finding techniques using complex mesh topologies to generate and fabricate different scale prototypes. The five-day workshop will introduce participants to parametric design to fabrication workflow using force-based form finding techniques to generate, simulate, fabricate, and assemble different scale prototypes using a combination of Rhino/Grasshopper with selected plug-ins such as Kangaroo, Ivy, Weaverbird, and few others. Different topologies will develop as a result of a negotiation between the applied forces, the selected material, and the design intent as set by the different participants. Kangaroo form relaxation technique will be used to examine the generated topologies and their influence on the final configuration. After reaching the final form, different strips layout strategies will be examined in order to prepare the model for fabrication. Fabrication and assembly plan will be prepared in order to take the digital model from the computer and into realisation.

The objective of the workshop is to explore real-time design and analysis tools to generate different prototypes and to drive a strategy for their fabrication. The generated topologies reflect the design intent as set by each participant, the type of the materials deployed, and the forces involved in their generation.

// Methodology
Form-Finding: During the first two days, the workshop will introduce participants to computational form finding methods leading to fabrication planning and segmentations of the selected model. We will use Kangaroo physics engine to generate form finding process based on the applied forces. Several iterations will be generated and evaluated based on their spatial qualities and performance. The selection of the final geometry will be based on performance criteria and aesthetic sensibly as set by each group.

Strips Layout: After selecting the final geometry, Ivy plug-in, or custom made strategies, will be used to configure and unroll the strips. A strategy will be developed based on the lasercut dimensions and material properties. The segmentation strip layout will then be generated to include labelling, connecting, and cutout lines.

Assembly: Design, fabrication, and assembly of the final model will start on the third day. Participants will be organized in groups to plan, laser cut, and assemble their own prototypes.

// Daily schedule
:. day 01
Will be announced soon.

// Software & skills:
Basic modeling skill in Rhino, and intermediate to advanced level in Grasshopper are required. Participants should bring their own laptop with pre-installed software (software download links will be given after subscription).

// Tutors:
Andrea Graziano- Co-de-iT (GH & design tutor).
Zayad Motlib – d-NAT (GH & design tutor).

// Venue:
The workshop will be held at:
Originbase, Alqouz 3, Almeydan St.

// Calendar & Timetable:
The workshop will have the following timetable:
Jan 17- 9:00 -18:00 lesson + tutoring
Jan 18- 9:00 -18:00 lesson + tutoring
Jan 19- 9:00 -18:00 project + tutoring
Jan 20- 9:00 -18:00 project + tutoring
Jan 21 – 9:00 -18:00 tutoring + Presentation and Crit + Certificate ceremony

// Subscription fees:
For participants who register by 05 Jan, 2017, we offer an EARLY BIRD rate of:
E.B. – Educational* : AED 1,850
E.B. – Professional : AED 2,850
Recent Graduate (1-2 years): AED 2,150

After 05 Jan, 2017 STANDARD fees apply:
STANDARD fees – educational* : AED 2,150
STANDARD fees – professional : AED 3,250
Recent Graduate Special Rate: AED 2,400

· *Full time students, researchers & PhD (proof of status required).

Group registration: 10% discount will be offered to a group of three people if they register and pay one lump sum fee.

The deadline for registration is 12 Jan, 2017 The workshop will be activated with a minimum number of 10 participants, and have a max of 16 seats.

// registration:
To register please e-mail:

// Organized by:
This workshop is organized as a collaboration between d-NAT and Co-de-iT .

// Pre-requisite skills:
Participants who are qualified to apply for this workshop should have either passed one of our previous workshops, or should enroll in the Beginners’ crash course.