Arch.Uth Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Arch.Uth Ελληνικά
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN III-V Z: Digital Tectonics: From design to construction
Design Studio Required Elective at semester(s) 5, 7, ECTS: 12



[Comprehension, Application, Synthesis]

The studio focuses on the possibilities of digital design and construction tools for the creation of a small-scale architecture, such as pavilions, canopies and other ephemeral structures, which aim to expand the design and construction capabilities to a more imaginative and experimental approach. More specifically, the workshop will deal with the design of an architectural pavilion, with a specific scenario, space and intention, which will function either as a permanent or ephemeral structure in the context of a cultural or artistic event. Pavilions and ephemeral structures in general are characterized by novelty in design and very often become landmarks, giving new meaning to the place they inhabit. The design will be explored in conjunction with the construction, since the two processes are interconnected and there is constant feedback from one to another, creating a continuous process between design and construction. Thus, the connectivity and assembly posibilities are elements that will inform the design process. At the initial stage of the workshop, students will explore the connection and seamless transfer of information between design and manufacturing in experiments utilizing digital technologies such as 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC or robotic manufacturing among others. After the initial familiarization with digital tools, in the main architectural design part, the students will work in small groups to design and construct their ideas on a scale of 1:10, and selectively some of the connection elements on larger scales. During the semester there will be lectures on digital construction, focusing on the process, and presenting examples from the international bibliography. There will be intermediate deliverables (designs and mock-ups) using digital tools, starting from design experiments and topological transformations, and concluding with a complete architectural proposal accompanied by all the required plans for its construction.

The digital design and construction tools will be an important part of the workshop, as students will practice through exercises during the semester, incorporating this knowledge into the final design project of the pavilion. The aim is to use digital media not only as a drafting tool, but also as a tool for morphogenesis and architectural thinking, introducing new experimental methods into an integrated design and construction process, the so-called file-to-factory continuum.

Τhe Swoosh Pavilion in Bedford Square in London, Image source:
Τhe Swoosh Pavilion in Bedford Square in London, designed and built by students, Image source.


The aim of the course is to design and build on a scale of 1:10 an architectural artefact that will explore and utilize modern digital methods for the design and construction. Through exercises, students will examine issues of fabrication, joinery, optimization and preparation of the file for construction, and the typologies associated with different methods of fabrication, as well as the morphogenetic processes through digital representations.

Emphasis will be placed on morphological innovation, the design approach and buildability using digital design-construction tools, and exploring spatial transformations that respond to the design intent.

PhD candidate Alexandros Efstathiadis will be assisting the teaching activities


Students will work in small groups. The evaluation will be based on exercises during the semester (research, digital experiments, models) and the final deliverable that will be a fully articulated and documented design proposal for a small-scale architectural construction with all the construction details (floor plans, views, sections , three-dimensional illustrations, animation, digital designs) and mock-ups of the entire construction in 1:10 and the individual components, nodes and links on a larger scale.


Adriaenssen, S. (ed),  Advances in Architectural Geometry 2016, Hochschulverlag AG, ETH Zurich, 2016. File source και Download link

Baker L. Temporary Architecture. Salenstein: Braun Publish,Csi, 2014.

Gramazio F, Kohler M. Digital Materiality in Architecture. 1 edition. Baden: Lars Muller, 2008.

Hensel, M., Menges, A. (eds). Morpho-Ecologies: Towards Heterogeneous Space In Architecture Design, AA Publications, 2007.

Hensel, M., Menges, A. (eds). Versatility and Vicissitude: Performance in Morpho-Ecological Design,Academy Press, 2008.

Iwamoto L. Digital Fabrications: Architectural and Material Techniques. 144 p. edition. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2009.

Kolarevic, B. (ed.), Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing. 1 edition. Taylor & Francis, 2004.

Legendre, G. (ed), Mathematics of Space, Academy Press; 1 edition, 2011. File source

Long, K. (ed.), Hatch: The New Architectural Generation, Laurence King Publishing, 2008.

Picon, A., Digital Culture in Architecture, Birkhäuser Architecture; 2010.

Sakamoto, T. (ed), FROM CONTROL TO DESIGN, Actar, 2008.

Self M, Walker C. Making Pavilions. London: Architectural Association Publications, 2010.

Spuybroek, L. (ed), Research & Design: The Architecture of Variation, Thames & Hudson, 2009.

Symeonidou, I., Learning through making - Digital fabrication of 1:1 experimental constructions within an educational context, in “What's the Matter: Materiality and Materialism at the Age of Computation”, ENHSA-EAAE International Conference, COAC, ETSAB, ETSAV, Barcelona, September 4-5-6, 2014. File source

Symeonidou, I., Reinventing Design-Build projects with the use of digital media for design and construction - A survey of 120 educational pavilions, in Fioravanti, A, Cursi, S, Elahmar, S, Gargaro, S, Loffreda, G, Novembri, G, Trento, A (eds.), ShoCK! - Sharing Computational Knowledge! - Proceedings of the 35th eCAADe Conference - Volume 1, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy, 20-22 September 2017. File source