Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Nicolas Turchi

  • Credits 2

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Cesena

  • Degree Programme Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Architecture (cod. 9265)

  • Course Timetable from Dec 20, 2021 to Jan 12, 2022


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The main objective of the course is to provide an introduction to digital modeling via parametric algorithms. Computational modeling is currently one of the most used tools in every architecture office when it comes to controlling complex geometries. This course will provide the students with both theoretical and practical knowledge to generate shapes through digital algorithms. The students will learn how to generate spatial configurations having full control of the parameters and components that determine the final result. Rationalization and optimization of complex geometries will also be among the key points of this course.

This course will provide a series of tutorials that will increase students’ digital modeling knowledge as well as awareness and control on a generative parametric process.

The in-class tutorials will provide an introduction to parametric software such as Autodesk Maya 3D and Grasshopper for Rhinoceros.

Maya tutorials will give the students basic/advanced knowledge about polygonal modeling through a parametric workflow that will eventually help them to learn how to efficiently manage complex geometries.

The digital models will be further analyzed and implemented using Grasshopper, it will be shown how to generate complex algorithms.

Course contents

This AFPG course will teach students an efficient workflow between Maya and Grasshopper enhancing the interoperability of the two and focusing on how to manage both Mesh and Nurbs geometries. This will eventually lead to prototyping or the visual rendering of the final product. It will be particularly important to focus on the advantages of a hybrid workflow throughout the entire phasing of the project: from the early stage analysis to the concept and modeling part and finally the presentation and final visualization of the project.

The tutorial series will cover an introduction to the software by illustrating interface, software logic, advanced modeling operations and parametric control over the output.

Students will be assigned a small project in order to testify their learning and they will be presenting during a final exam at the presence of the professor who will verify the eligibility for the course completion.


- M. Carpo, “The Alphabet and the Algorithm (Writing Architecture)”, The MIT Press, 2011.

- M. Carpo, “The Second Digital Turn: Design Beyond Intelligence (Writing Architecture)”, The MIT Press, 2017.

- A. Tedeschi, "Architettura parametrica. Introduzione a Grasshopper", Le Penseur, 2010.

- A. Tedeschi, "AAD Algorithms-Aided Design. Parametric strategies using grasshopper", Le Penseur, 2014.

- K. Murdoch, “Autodesk Maya 2018 - basics guide”, SDC Publications, 2017

- Parametric Building Design Using Autodesk Maya, Ming Tang, Routledge, 2014

Teaching methods

The course will be alternating theoretical classes with hands-on ones.

During the course, the practical classes will involve modeling, prototyping and visual rendering.

Classes will last 6 hours and will both include tutorials and exercises.

Assessment methods

The course will end with a final exam which will be considered passed if all the required materials are submitted and the project successfully presented.

Students have the possibility to present the final materials in a group (maximum 3 people).

Students will be required to present both in-class exercises and the final project, showing the deployed workflow and in particular how the techniques and tools learned during classes have been used towards the final project.

During the course, there will be a series of dedicated exercises that will require students to follow the professor’s indications and examples in order to be successfully completed.

In order to pass the exam, students must submit 3D models files in .obi and .3Ds of both class exercises and the final project. Students will also have to print n.1 A1 board for each group with the necessary documentation and drawings in order to successfully present their project.

Teaching tools

This course focuses on using Autodesk Maya (free student version -valid for 3 years- can be downloaded from the Autodesk website) and Grasshopper (Free Rhinoceros Plugin).

During classes, tutors will be following and helping students.

Tutors will also provide a series of complementary digital documentations oriented toward software learning.

Office hours

See the website of Nicolas Turchi