Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows drawing as a graphic, infographic and multimedia language, applied to the design process of Architecture, from the formation of the idea to its executive definition.

Course contents


Two-dimensional vector graphics – a short review

General information on three-dimensional modeling systems
_Introduction to three-dimensional modeling
_Hardware systems for 3D graphics applications
_Three-dimensional viewing and windowing functions; three-dimensional graphic transformations

Geometric modeling
_Homogeneous coordinates and geometric transformations
_Quaternions and their use in 3D and rigid body modeling
_Main 3D modeling methodologies
_3D file formats (IGES, STL, etc.)
_Solid modeling and Boolean operations
_ B-Rep modeling
_Parametric, implicit, and explicit representations of curves
_Algebraic classification of low-degree parametric polynomial curves
_Representation of Bézier and Bernstein Basis
_Spline and continuity constraints
_B-Splines and de Boor's algorithm
_Rational curves
_Parametric polynomial surfaces and NURBS
_Clouds of points and their conversion into triangular meshes
_Mesh of triangles for the representation and reconstruction of surfaces
_Mesh processing: simplification, smoothing and regularization
_Integration of geometrically different data
_Semantic modeling
_Parametric and variational modeling short introduction


The course module is a "laboratory" in which the knowledge of architectural project drawing rules will be applied to the specific case study of the “ready house”.

The project will explore the following items:
- Drawing as a tool to understand, communicate and represent living spaces;
- Minimum spaces;
- Drawing standards;
- Organization and sharing of the working file: layer standards, blocks, groups, external reference files, vector drawing formats, interchange formats. Printing.
- Graphical scales representation and digital applications;
- Forms of elements and materials representation in architecture.
- Assemblies and details drawings.
- Construction details and representation of the building elements and its components: examples and graphic standards.
- Doors and windows: design and details;
- Three-dimensional drawing and representation: generation from 3D of plans, elevations and two-dimensional sections;
- Two-dimensional graphic rendering of surfaces and textures;
- Three-dimensional drawing and representation: types and uses of axonometry; use of axonometric cross-section and exploded views; perspective and perspective sections; photo-montages.
- Layout of the contents;
- Mixed use of raster / vector systems: management of digital images and examples of basic controls; management of images in a CAD environment; references to graphic formats.

Coded representation: architectural orders
Visible survey and proportions: examples, contents, methods.
Direct survey: history and examples; tools; techniques, methods; errors and precisions
Planimetric survey: characters and methods
Altimetric survey; relief of details
Thematic surveys: materials and degradations; structures and insteven; surfaces and decorations
Arches and vaults: geometric generators and problems of direct survey
Graphic representation of the direct survey: norms, conventions, examples
Technical representations in 2D: case studies and related examples
Methods and techniques of digital indirect survey: classification
Photogrammetry: basic concepts, sensors; planning of a photogrammetric survey; bundle adjustment. Photogrammetry: creation of scattered and dense point clouds, production of polygonal models, texture mapping, creation of orthophotos, examples, demos.
Photogrammetry and extraction of technical documents: techniques, examples.
Design and representation of architectural survey: integration between methods; precision and errors; characterization of the works
Visible survey – eidotypes – and direct survey
Acquisitions in groups of images of sections of the walls and city gates of Bologna
Digital restitution of direct survey
Polygonal products (textured 3D models), raster (orthophoto) and vector (digitizations / maps / sections).


- on-line handouts provided by the teacher (virtuale.unibo.it )
- De Luca L., La fotomodellazione architettonica, Dario Flaccovio Editore, 2011.
- Docci M., Maestri D., Gaiani M., Scienza del disegno, Città Studi, Novara, 2021.
- Gaiani M. (a cura di), La rappresentazione riconfigurata, Edizioni POLI design, Milano, 2006.
- Cipriani L., Esempi di disegno dell'architettura. La didattica del disegno nella Facoltà di Ingegneria di Bologna, CLUEB, Bologna, 2005.
- Cipriani L., Il disegno del portico di San Luca, CLUEB, Bologna, 2005.
- Guidi G., Russo M., Beraldin J.A., Acquisizione 3D e modellazione poligonale, Mac Graw Hill, 2010.
- Bertocci S., Bini M., Manuale di rilievo architettonico e urbano, CittàStudi, Novara, 2012.
- Neufert E., Il manuale dell’architetto.
- Ching F.D., Architectural Graphics, 6a Ed. 2015.
- Ching F.D., Building Construction Illustrated, Wiley, 2014.
- CAD User Manuals and Guide: https://help.autodesk.com/view/ACD/2022/ITA/

Teaching methods

The course proposes an operative approach divided into lectures and direct applications of the theoretical contents to a reference case study.
The design of a simple housing structure - ready-house - will be studied, following the path from the initial idea to its architectural definition.
We intend to explore innovative representation systems through three-dimensional modeling, intended as a real "construction" of the architectural object, combined with the extraction of two-dimensional technical drawings.
At the same time, a similar method will be applied to the study of an existing architecture, starting from direct survey techniques and ending with indirect survey through photo-modeling.
The survey is an instrument of knowledge of the architectural, urban and environmental reality, and the photo-modeling techniques allow the construction of a photo-realistic 3D model of the inquired object.
The course will have a double approach to representation, in which the digital techniques will be used both to create images starting from reality (shooting techniques, image management and software, etc.) and to generate digital images from 3D models, through the reverse process.

The module aims to make students acquire the mastery and the theoretical bases of three-dimensional digital modeling methods and techniques.
It will consist of a series of lessons on the basis of the discipline with examples of the software used in the course.

The module aims to provide the methodical basis necessary for the interpretation and execution of the architectural project.
The course includes in-depth study of technical drawing, and the construction of three-dimensional CAD models.
The module includes practice exercises preceded by a brief introduction.

The module aims to make students acquire the methods and techniques of direct and indirect survey of the architectural spaces and of the graphic representations of the architectural survey.
It includes both lectures and exercises that will allow you to connect theory to practical applications.

Assessment methods

The course ends with a scrutiny of the graphics produced by the student during the course. The preparation and presentation of practice works is needed for admission to the exam. The completeness of the documentation will be verified at the end of the course in a "final review" required for the admission to the exam.
The exam consists of a practical 3D CAD test and an oral including a graphic practical exercise.
All the tests must be taken in the same exam session.
For students who will successfully attend reviews and ongoing tests of the course, and who will take the exam in the first session (sessions of January-February 2022), the exam will consist in the public presentation and discussion of the graphics made during the course.

The evaluation grade is available on student request

Teaching tools


The annual workshop will consist in the design of a simple housing module called "ready-house".
At the end of the course, the student will be able to produce the documentation that from the initial idea leads to the representation of the architectural project, through three-dimensional modeling.
The 3D model is a real "construction" of the architectural object, from which the two-dimensional graphics can be extracted.
The development of the project will be partly individual, and partly collective.
The course is a practical laboratory in which the knowledge of representation’s rules will be applied, and the project documents will be developed.
The material produced by the students during the workshop will be regularly shared on the Virtual platform to allow monitoring. During the exercises, reviews of the work are scheduled on the calendar.
The "annual workshop" must be developed continuously and periodically checked with teachers and tutors. In addition to the annual workshop, there are 3 ex-tempore exercises related to the theoretical lessons of 3D modeling.

Annual workshop:
The students, organized in groups of 3, will produce drawings in A1 format with the following contents:
A0. Project introduction:
- Drawings and study models that illustrate the relevant elements of the project and of the solutions chosen, references to basic documentation, together with a brief illustrative report.
A1. Architectural drawings:
- Master Plan Drawings with external arrangement (1/200)
- Plans with the representation of the materials and the verification of the furnishings (1/100)
- Sections, with elevations of the internal walls (1/100)
- Elevations with materials and finishes (1/100)
A2. Three-dimensional model:
- Axonometric and perspective views obtained from the 3D model relating to:
- internal spaces of the single housing unit;
- external views of the entire building.
Exercises ex-tempore:
The documents and work files will be specified in the illustration / execution of the exercise in the CAD classroom and available on Virtuale Platform.
Delivery methods:
DWG work files and PDF prints uploaded on the Virtuale platform.

The exercise has as its objective the survey and the technical representation of a part of the walls of Bologna or of a city gate, obtained both through direct survey techniques and through indirect survey with digital photogrammetry applications.
First of all, the planning of the survey will be expected according to the needs and requirements of the work, integrated with visual and direct survey applications. The data of this survey phase will be represented through plans, sections and elevations. The indirect survey phase involves the acquisition of photographic data, which will be processed in digital photogrammetry applications in order to produce a photo-realistic 3D model, as well as orthophotos and consequent technical elaborations at various scales.
The exercises will be carried out both in the field and in the laboratory, where all the software for data processing will be made available. The works to be realized, which can be developed in different tables, will include the following contents:
C0. Preparatory studies – photographic survey – eidotypes with sketch collection
C1. Direct metric survey (1/50 restitution scale): - plants with measures, - plants with materials, finishes and degradations; - significant sections with measures, - sections supplemented by materials, finishes and degradations; - elevations with materials, finishes, degradations.
C2. Digital photogrammetry: - techniques for the reconstruction of the three-dimensional model: critical reports of the data processing phases; - three-dimensional textured model: external views, sections, orthogonal views of the model; - technical drawings for CAD vectorization of orthophotos, plants / sections.
C3. Summary papers: - comparisons between direct survey and digital surveys by overlapping technical documents: extracts of the significant parts and critical analysis of the results.
Delivery methods: I – ex-tempore exercises: in the classroom at the end of each test; II – autonomous exercises: to the exam. The module includes direct and indirect survey activities in the field, with applications in the laboratory.

Office hours

See the website of Luca Cipriani

See the website of Marco Gaiani

See the website of Massimo Ballabeni