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Structural Design VI - Computational Methods

Structural Design VI is an introduction into digital tools for the design and fabrication of complex structures. The course will introduce parametric modelling, form finding and optimisation of different types of structures using Rhino and Grasshopper. Additionally, the sizing and fabrication of such elements will be addressed.

Learning Goals

The main goal of this course is to understand the basic concepts behind parametric structural design, digital form-finding and fabrication.

After the course you should be able to:

  • parametrically model complex curves and surfaces as well as structural elements in Rhino and Grasshopper;
  • use form-finding tools for 2D and 3D structures;
  • size tension and compression members;
  • use basic digital fabrication scripts.

General Information


Registration at is required.


The course is graded based on the exercises handed out during the course lectures. The last hour of each lesson is reserved for the practical exercises, and must be submitted by the next lesson.  



Matthias Rippmann, Postdoctoral researcher
HIB E46, Mail: 

Tomás Méndez Echenagucia, Postdoctoral researcher
HIB E46, Mail: 

Tutorials and Exercises

Mariana Popescu, Juney Lee, Cristián Calvo Barentin, Robin Oval, Maryanne Wachter, Alessandro Dell'Endice.


There are no linked publications.



ETH Zurich
Institute of Technology in Architecture
Block Research Group
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 1, HIB E 45
8093 Zurich, Switzerland

+41 44 633 38 35  phone
+41 44 633 10 53  fax

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