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Sydney Uni students use geometrical and mathematical rules to generate designs

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Sydney University’s SmartStructuresLab 2016 course uses geometrical and mathematical rules to generate designs.

The 2016 SmartStructuresLab, Sydney University’s Master postgraduate course for computational design, asks students to test the structural behaviour of a design using 3D modelling in Rhino and scripting in Grasshopper as built up, followed by a structural analysis in karamba.

Closely following an initial logic of self-forming analogue models in textiles, wood, clay, students coded the rules and principles in scripting software, and then analysed and optimised the designs according to spatial and structural capabilities.

Students researched and tested materials and techniques that could be digitally modelled to forecast the fabrication, construction and installation of their designs by digitally labelling / assembling, laser-cutting components and 3D Printing their models.

The resulting designs were refined and developed into a large-scale building such as a stadium or an oval multipurpose hall with the main focus being on the structure of the building.

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The resulting designs were refined and developed into a large-scale building such as a stadium or an oval multipurpose hall with the main focus being on the structure of the building.

“Bridges, stadia, large-span halls and roof covers are cases of architecture where form is the structural principles, where you recognize the bone structure of a building” said Dr Dagmar Reinhardt, Program Director of the Bachelor of Architecture and Environments and Master of Digital Architecture Research Leader, Sydney University.

“We work very closely with engineers from the first moment of the studio. For that, it’s vital that our students become digitally competent very fast. So we have flipped our classroom strategy. The students now learn the digital design software via IDDA’s industry-leading online learning platform. This enables our lecturers and tutors to support the students with theory and strategy, rather than focusing on software support.”

IDDA’s courses are compulsory to pass and student skills are tested via IDDA online exams.

“Our students are producing brilliant work and having access to the IDDA platform means we can cover far more content in the course, get to the structural point, and get there faster ” said Dr. Reinhardt.

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Posted on 13 Mar 2019



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