Exploring the link between design form and functionality will allow the creation of a language that can be applied to an architectural project, this studio is centred in an investigation that creates a closer relationship between the designer, computer representation, sustainability and matter.


Environmental and Structural Design Studio

With the growth of urban areas, cities are becoming focal points for human life, however they still lag behind in sustainability. When designing our built environment, it is therefore important to consider the consequences of human settlements on the health of ecosystems. Wood is a renewable resource that can contribute to sustainability in the construction industry. It may be difficult to think of wood as a sustainable material, since it is associated with deforestation. However, man-made construction materials like concrete and steel have a huge carbon footprint, causing even more damage to the environment. 

Moreover, with the integration of computational technologies into architecture and advanced simulation tools, designers are not only capable of predicting the impact of external forces in the digital environment, but also create design workflows to have constant analysis feedback of the building performance, allowing to optimise the ecological footprint of architectural interventions. 

source: Airwell, Introductory Studio 20/21

Exploring the link between design form and functionality will allow the creation of a language that can be applied to an architectural project, this studio is centred in an investigation that creates a closer relationship between the designer, computer representation, sustainability and matter.

To allow a greater understanding of building performance, students will be directed to analyse critically novel existing projects. Through these case studies, students will be able to gather information which will guide them to generate advanced design strategies focusing on environmental and structural optimization. 

Through constant discussion and feedback students will find new ways to extract and use data as the main design driver to develop an architectural project in the urban context. With the help of real time analysis students will be able to interact closer to the digital model, allowing them to better understand the behaviour of the building as the design evolves. The final outcome will be the design of a building structure and facade system that can respond to efficiency and sustainability. 

The projects will have synergy with the rest of the digital tools seminars, allowing the students to apply the knowledge received into a practical and speculative design proposal. This investigation will propose a unique typology and technological mediation that can have a profound impact not only on local surroundings but can be applied on any context with similar issues. 

Learning Objectives 

At course completion the student will:

  • Create relationships of architecture and design to allied disciplines.
  • Apply architecture and design within an emerging global context.
  • Understand fundamental concepts of computational design.
  • Create digital tools applied to complex geometries and implement topological relations as a form finding tool.
  • link between design form and functionality through investigative processes. 
  • Be able to conduct investigations and present their findings coherently in verbal and graphic formats.


Faculty Assitants

Projects from this course

Timber Weaving

Reference Project: Our research included several realized projects that are characterized by their innovative timber constructions: For our project we aimed to unite the monolithic integrity of the mosque and the clubhouse with the free forms of the Centre Pompidou to create a unique architectural identity. Project DescriptionWe decided on a project in İskenderun, Turkey. … Read more

Timber Showroom in Trento, IT

Timber Showroom in Trento The Project investigates generative design approaches for optimizing timber construction Systems on both The Support’s level (Tree structure that distributes puncture forces and achieves wider spans) and the Slab’s level (generative Timber Slab reinforcement that follows the Principle Moment Lines generated from FE simulations on pre-given Supports). The objective of the … Read more

Marscape Colony: Transportation

| ABSTRACT The studio aims to create a human settlement on the planet Mars that will grow from 50 pax to 300 pax. Studio was divided into 7 groups. Our group focused on transportation. Questions to answer to understand the topic The scale of transportation can be global, regional and local. Space terminal falls into … Read more

Environmental and Structural Design – Studio

Introduction [ Cooling Paradise is the theme of the project which is located at outskirts of Manila, Philippines.] [The Design Concept derives from local context: climate, culture, and vernacular habitats.] [ Form Finding and Structure Optimization take advantages of digital technologies. It is a data driving process.] Climate Analysis Form Finding & Structure Optimization Glazing … Read more


Synergism is the interaction and cooperation of two or more organizations, agents, or groups of people to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their own. After analyzing how the city of Damascus has evolved over time, we saw how the city started slowly growing away from the Eastern inhabitable agricultural lands closer … Read more

Program And Ranging Aggregations

Used in this project: Main: Rhino3D, Grasshopper3D, Grasshopper Plugins: Wasp, Elk, Ladybug3D Context: OpenStreetMaps / GeofabrikMaps: policymap.com, strava heatmaps, Urban3, Connect Dallas (2021), 2011 Dallas Bike Plan, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) aei.orgState of the Art Precedents: Block’hood by Jose Sanchez, Habitat 67′ by Moshe Safdie, VM by BIG + JDS Introduction Our project is located … Read more

RE:EDU: architecture for emergency

As a target country for  our project we selected Ukraine, the biggest European country that is located in the eastern part. Ukraine has 1000 years of history, during which it has been fighting for freedom and identity. In 2013 in Kyiv students started the protest, which evolved into the revolution of dignity, after the president … Read more

Climate Canopy

A new mobility hub for Green square station, Sydney, Australia Climate Canopy is a project about improving the qualities of Green Square station in Sydney, Australia. The Climate Canopy is an open-air timber grid shell creates an urban landmark by framing a new entrance to the station, without interfering with movement and wayfinding. The canopy … Read more


SITE ANALYSIS l TRIPOLI Known as the capital of the North, Tripoli is Lebanon’s second largest city: from a regional trade capital for the past centuries, the city is nowadays the most impoverished of Lebanon and on the Mediterranean. The city has been scared by the violent clashes and conflict over the past 40 years … Read more

The Loop

ABSTRACT Mabalacat is a linear city along the road leading to Manila. Currently, the city lacks communal public spaces such as parks. As an alternative, the general public tend to spend time in large malls, which, by design, are intended for large masses and do not foster a sense of community. The project objective is … Read more

Re- Earth Station Studio

Site Location: Xochimilco, Mexico Xochimilco is a borough of Mexico City. The borough is centered on the formerly independent city of Xochimilco,  which was established on what was the southern shore of Lake Xochimilco in the pre-colonial period. Today, the borough consists of the 18 barrios, or neighborhoods, of this city along with 14 pueblos, … Read more

Peaceful parasites

Historical data Peaceful parasites is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland and addresses the urban scars created by the recent troubles. Deep rooted segregation has generated detrimental urban divides and this project aims to solve this problem. Historically, the troubles started in 1969 and subsides to some degree in 1998 with the ¨good friday agreement¨. 2023 … Read more