Digital Design

Beyond Studio

Tutors: Richard Difford, Miriam Dall’Igna, Thomas Hopkins, Michael Kloihofer, Ed Lancaster, and David Scott

Undertaken in the first semester of the first year on the MArch, Digital Design is a key component of the Architectural Reflections module. It provides the opportunity to learn valuable computer skills and to reflect critically on the use of digital media in architecture.

The programme begins with an intense week of hands- on activity in the Fabrication Lab. Working in groups, the students learn essential digital fabrication skills and familiarise themselves with all the lab has to offer. This is followed by eleven weeks’ of classes each focusing on one particular set of digital tools and techniques.

Students select from a choice of five different groups, each with a different focus and set of interests. The tutors for these groups are drawn from both practice and academia, providing critical reflection on the role of digital technology in architecture along with practical experience and technical expertise. Each group combines technical instruction with related theory and precedents. In this way everyone gets a chance to learn something new and to build on their existing knowledge and experience. The programme culminates in an exhibition of the work hosted by the Fabrication Lab and celebrating the students’ achievements.

The five groups this year were as follows:

GROUP A: Coding Nature and Movement Richard Difford

Inspired by nature, this group utilises graphic coding and physical computing to investigate the formal and expressive potential of movement in natural systems.

GROUP B: Digital Craft Michael Kloihofer

Employing contemporary digital fabrication tools, this group looks at adapting traditional forms of making to the digital age.

GROUP C: Computational Design Miriam Dall’Igna

Drawing on contemporary scripting and parametric modelling techniques, this group explores the potential for geometrically driven and environmentally responsive computational design.

GROUP D: (Robotic-) Extruded Reality Ed Lancaster and David Scott

Utilising the Fabrication Lab’s industrial robots, this group engages in the 3D printing of ceramics and the potential of mass customisation.

GROUP E: Procedural Modelling Thomas Hopkins

Building on the power of procedural modelling, this group employs simulation and animation in pursuit of intricacy and formal complexity.

Archive of Digital Design works from a previous year:

Digital Design 2019-2020

Digital Design 2020-2021