Spain Teaching

DAETSAM Intensive Workshop

This 4 day-long intensive and introductory workshop covered the very basics of RhinoScript and digital fabrication.We wnt through creating points, lines, curves and surfaces in order to prepare component-populated structures. We then automated the preparation of 2d-plans for digital fabrication and built a scaled  physical mock-up of our structures.

Our program:

  • Phase1 - code writing
    • Introduction to coding: macros, basic concepts. Placing buttons and customizing user interfaces
    • Arrays: 2d point grids
    • Grids with lines and curves. Hierarchy in computational geometry
    • Surfaces and components
    • Using attractors to modify and control geometry
  • Phase 2 - plan automation and digital fabrication
    • Geometry preparation (extensive version)
    • Digital fabrication session: create plans for laser cutter using rhinoscript (extensive version)
  • Phase 3 - fabrication and assembling
    • Laser cutting session at the fabLab (extensive version)
    • Model assembly and exhibition

Mock-up model

[Mock-up model, photo: Maria Jesús Sacristan]

Automated fabrication

 [Scaled mock-up model, photo: Miguel Ánge López, Hugo Anaximandro]

IE School of Architecture - Applied technologies and Design [rendering and visualization]

Applied technology also deepens in visualization and rendering techniques, some of whcih are exposed here as a series of images. For further information, please refer to our contact section. Also, we suggest you hire us for courses and teaching-related activities.

H&dM Pavillion - Rodrigo Ruiz

H&dM Pavillion


Family House - Daniel Arnanz

Family House - Interior

Portable/deployable Store - Carlos García

Deployable shop

Corridor - Mar San Martin


IE School of Architecture - Applied technologies and Design

This subject aims to offer a learning environment that grants access to advanced design techniques, through a working methodology that will facilitate students' contact with architectural design through the latest computer application and technologies, including programming languages. With a clearly practical focus, theoretical content will be developed throughout increasingly complex practical exercises, forming a hierarchical structure that makes it necessary to master every single step of the design.

We aim to cover the following individual aspects:

1. Help the student to improve and increase his/her knowledge of design tooling, including analysis and management of every single procedure hereby included.

2. Experiment with parametric technology since the beginning of the course, taking advantage of existing software functionalities.

3. Ease the learning process of fundamental geometry concepts related to basic programming, as well as the algebraic description of complex geometric entities. Students were asked to learn rVB, a simple programming language that allows the user to easily access the Rhino geometry core.

4. Deepen into algorithmic design techniques that allow the students to create sophisticated design through informative models.

5. Master computational geometry through direct and customized information mining and handling, working with three-dimensional entities such as curves, surfaces, and solids.

6. Initiate a research on process automation through macros and scripts, in order to facilitate an efficient working environment through the suppression of time-consuming, non-critical processes.

7. Provoke a flourishing discussing atmosphere and an innovative learning environment through parallel theoretical discussions.

8. Provide the project with a substantial representational ground through renderings, diagrams, and animated visualizations.

This subject is therefore not on software, but rather an initiation in an advanced methodological research based on a deep knowledge of advanced software tools. These are chosen and used not only as vehicle or media for learning, but as part of the design methodology and automated management of production processes.

Last but not least, we invited students to develop an essay on any topic related to parametric and algorithmic design applied to architecture, in the hope to emphasize the importance of framing the subject within a certain position or theoretical framework.

[highlighted work - credits at the end of the video]


Double Helix - Julio Amodia and Guillermo Fernandez

"This is a design exercise that focuses on abstract geommetry creation. It consists on the generation of a series of simple geometrical forms -spheres- of different sizes that are positioned according to a surface defined by a double helicoidal equation." - Abstract from the authors.

The "double helix" is the first approximation by Julio and Guillermo to algorithmic design, and is an absolutely succesful coding exercise.

 Double Helix


Train station hall structural skylights - Daniel Arnanz, Marcos Abad, Rodrigo Ruiz

Scripting is also widely used as a tool for generating large amounts of irregular geometry. This station roof is a clear example of how this principle applies even from the earliest design stages. 

The design team decided to try to apply an hexagonal grid to an explicitely modeled surface in order to combine both architectural and structural affects into a single architectural element. Thus, hexagons are extruded with different appertures in order to allow light in different intensities and angles throughout the day activating the station hall accordingly.

Furthermore, the hexagons extrusion height guarantees structural stability through inertia, a structural principle that, combined with the forementioned aesthetic effect, maies of the roof a perfectly tied design component.

Station Skylights

Finally, the scripting process allows designers to easily automate non-critical processes, such as fabrication and 2D modelling [involving large amounts of labour and time], so that the designers decided to autamete the unroll processing of every single skylight as an example of how to possibly proceed when involved in a fabrication process in a real project.

Self-bearing modular structure - Reyes Gonzalez, Carmen Sanz, and Daniel Fernandez

Two closed, irregularly twisted curves intertwine at different heights creating the base surfaces that host the modules. The surface is so subdivided into hexagons, which are again subdivided in two parts themselves: one is closed, the other, more open, resembles the aesthetic impulse of the whole.

This set of simple operations results in a modular structure that generates a variety of geometric patterns. The scale [or possibly better] scalessness of this piece makes it suitable for the viewer to perceive both an "urban sculpture" and a "piece of furniture" at the same time.

Urban Sculpture

Voronoi lighting - Francisco Suárez

This project approaches the use of scripting and algorithmic design from a very particular point of view: the intended purpose is to develop a whole construction system that can be deployed anywhere and under the most demanding cicumstances. Industrialized construction is still largly ignored in Spain due to lobbyist forces that pretend to maintain the status-quo of construction technology at its lowest pace to maximize already economically optimized material know-how.

Voronoi Lighting

Deployable pavillion - Carlos García and Martín Orbea Echave

This project approaches the use of scripting and algorithmic design from a very particular point of view: the intended purpose is to develop a whole construction system that can be deployed anywhere and under the most demanding cicumstances. Industrialized construction is still largly ignored in Spain due to lobbyist forces that pretend to maintain the status-quo of construction technology at its lowest pace to maximize already economically optimized material know-how. 

A simple pavillion is used as an excuse to explore the boundaries of automated design and construction, and it yields amazing results: not only are designers capable of describing all geometry by giving it a set of rules as to how to behave, algorithmically described design also allows them to perfectly define every single piece of the construction, from structural bars to glass windows. Finally, this projects shows how this optimization saves time both during the design and construction phases, as well as lowers the risk of poor construction through dry construction methods.




Estructuras Digitales

December 2010 Edition

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FabLab Seville

[with Eduardo Mayoral González]

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Forms of collective intelligence in architecture and urban processes:
[...] developed by architects as catalysts and regulators of the built environment, those are studied through a computational process of form finding that addresses the built environment whether to enhance its functionality or to directly create it.

The workshop dealed with various forms of integrated intelligence and its various modes of interaction, focusing on the influence of simple organic materials on the built environment and its formal and rational realizations. The students were asked to design a 70cm*70cm*8cm mold as both a conceptual and physical framework to test some of the ideas presented above.

Chess - Cristina Sánchez Caballero, Francisco Alfonso Morgado León, Ángel Linares García, Enrique Vázquez Vicente

The present proposal focuses both on the digital conceptualization and its material implications through the use of new software methodologies. Software tools enable us to generate forms in a short period of time, being able to adapt them to capricious, perhaps more random configurations in iterative though controlled processes. The material, on the other hand, allows, like many others, for variation in texture, color, and transparency.

Mold use and generation process:
This study focuses on sound as medium. The overall dimensions of the mold as well as pre-configured variables make it an ideal element for sound insulation. Its thickness varies throughout the piece causing an increase in the reverberation of the item. The object retains the orthogonality within its limits but it is distorted in the interior, whereby an irregular appearance is created. The inclusion of items of mass suppression causing cavities contributes further to the irregularity of the unit.

The form emerges from an initial 5x5 mesh grid. Using a series of functions the computer distorts the intersections of the grid, generating distortion that serves as a starting point for the model. A series of parmeters are then taken into account: the first half of the elements of the initial grid is projected onto a paraboloid surface, while the other half of the elements are projected onto it simmetrical one. Holes are then created.

Light cell - Marta Lorenzo, José Eduardo Medina, Carlos Hugo Quito, Pablo de Sola
The light cell is a facade cladding component that adapts both to interior functionality and environmental conditions -sunlight, thermal insulation.
The panel seeks to mimic the organic shape of living matter through a distribution that allows for both a neutral configuration -based uniquely on the above mentioned conditions, and a formal characterization: the voronoi diagram.


The voronoi diagram, a simple distribution diagram, is used to create areas of diverse lighting conditions through two main techniques: point density control and panel thickness. On the one hand, the point set distribution responds to desired lighting control -higher density means higher illumination, on the other, the panel thickness itself allows for further transparency control, as the least populated areas completely pierce the final piece, allowing for total transparency and visibility.

The final shape is then qualified by design. In a first attempt, a one-sided panel cast is created, permitting funghi to be normally poured. The fact that this method leaves one side completely open ensures the correct "breathing" of the organic material. A second attempt slightly modifies the initial cast, mirrors it, and creates a well finished two-sided cladding piece [for complete process see animation above or the youtube video].

Self-organizing facade - Alejandro Rodríguez, Álvaro Osuna, Francisco González, Jose Luis García, Laura Bracho

"From the outset we were interested in the potential importance of lightning as design parameter, which will both bias the whole parametric system and design rules." [from abstract]
"We defined, through a gray-tone image, illumination values which correspond to those of the facade panels -each pixel is read by a specific panel, a "location" on the facade. This design parameter is taken into account for subsequent implementation steps. The facade, therefore, has no holes nor large windows, and is conceived as a perimeter wall that is tread and thought through the parametrically generated holes and to filter and characterize the sunlight".

The panel structure, as opposed to a more conventional rib model, is conceived as a continuous layer, a sort of framework where the funghi will weave themselves through. The holes also require a well-finished frame, which is achieved through the bevel on which the structural -and ornamental- layer is placed. This allows for an accurate shape that can be adapted to various types of light-transparent materials, such as glass or carbon fiber.

Weaved tension - Álvaro Borrego, Ignacio Chavero, J. Pedro Leiva, Simona Pecoraio, M. Cristina Sáenz

"The model stems from the intention of creating a single, continuous, organic-like surface to emulate the tension of the internal structure of fungal growth on a larger scale and represented by the geometry of building components. In other words, we use the panels as a large-scale expression of the implanted funghi's inner structure.

In order to achieve this effect, we consciously simplify the organic to the random nature, using a fibrous structure in which the tensions seamlessly disintegrate.
This draining is carried to the limit in the lower part of the model, thus enabling screening of natural light.

Parameterizing the breadth and length of waves through simple trigonometric functions,we obtain muscle-like fibers. These waves are coupled organizing an undulating surface capable of assuming different uses according to changes of scale.

The structure is a distributed rib grid that conforms to the shape of the mold. The design of these ribs has changed in the assembly process, keeping the old profile but emptied to facilitate the continued growth of the fungus."

Rotating panelization - Juan Carlos Venegas del Valle, Mª Dolores Ramos Ruiz, Mercedes López Cepero, Mª Salido Morales, Mª Auxiliadora Sánchez, Jose Buzón [FabLab partner]

This design attempts to mimic the structure of lithic flakes. This is a facade panel that can be used by design as insulating coating or for acoustic purposes. Its symmetry permits the module to be extended to finite.

1. Mill the mold
2. Sand and clean the piece to remove impurities
3. Add two layers of latex to seal the surface and regularize the structure
4. Laser-cut structural ribs
5. Design and fabricate the joints
6. Mount the structure following the code
7. Overlap the rib structure and mold
8. Disinfect and prepare the cast as bed for the fungi [organic material]
9. Plant fungi seeds in a bed of compost and/or agricultural waste
10. After a period of approximately two weeks, the fungus will adhere to the surface




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