OPTIMA + : computational design and digital fabrication strategies

OPTIMA + : computational design and digital fabrication strategies

NOUMENA & ALGORITM in partnership with SHARABASSY and in collaboration with GREEN FABLAB and IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia) organised an international competitive workshop that took place in Cairo, Egypt and Barcelona, Spain.

The event was to explore innovative design and prototyping techniques, NURBS Modelling, Optimisation, and Fabrication strategies. Goal of the event was to construct 1:1 scale pavilion through all different digital fabrication processes.


The event was divided into two different phases: the first one was focused on design, which held in Cairo. Students participated to an internal competition for the design of a data responsive pavilion, which followed by a small presentation and jury has selected one design proposal between all projects. In the second phase, the workshop moved to IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia) in Barcelona, Spain. Here students had a direct access to all digital machinery of GREEN FABLAB through that they explored all the process about digital fabrication in order to build their own design.


The workshop allowed participants to develop skills on computational design. According to the parametric design strategy, the building form should not be superimposed. An overview of building science and generative techniques were provided to link form and performance. Participants also gained insight on which computer tools are now-days involved into the design process of built environments.

The computational approach enables designers and architects to overcome the imposition of a prefixed form in order to enhance performance-driven design. Lectures on parametric design, simulation and optimisation techniques, analysis and digital fabrication prototyping, were integrated into the workshop.


OPTIMA+ was divided into four main parts:

A- Tooling

Initially, the workshop introduced parametric modelling and design to participants, built the necessary skills for addressing the technical challenges of using analysis to inform design strategies.

B- Generative Strategies

Form behaviour, analysing and form finding design strategies, response to architectural, urban and environmental contexts. Material system behaviours were digitally translated into parametric models.

C- Optimisation

Applying practically through a hands-on experience in using cutting-edge simulation tools that equipped architects with metrics that support the design of project in surrounding spaces.

D- Fabrication and prototyping

The participants learnt how to prepare their designs to be fabricated by using mainly CNC Machine, some wood workshop tools and related technologies.


Post author