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Advanced Digital Tools for Architectural Design and Structural Optimisation

Delve deep into the world of multi-criteria and complex design problem-solving and explore the parametric approaches that drive environmentally and structurally sound architectural solutions. The course will be hands-on, using a design exercise for an architectural canopy to explore the methods and systems that drive multi-criteria design approaches.

About this microcredential

This microcredential will teach you how to approach complex design problems using multi-objective optimisation methods. Using advanced digital tools within the Rhino 3D software platform, (structural analysis software Karamba 3D, parametric software Grasshopper 3D, and generative and evolutionary software Wallacei), you will develop skills in addressing the fine grain of environmental issues and the structural and material opportunities for complex architectural forms.

Key benefits of this microcredential

Successfully completing the microcredential will equip participants with:

  • Knowledge and expertise in innovative and emerging digital tools
  • Relevant skills in the application of these tools within the design field allowing for their use in various parts of industry-based projects.

This microcredential aligns with the 3-credit point subject, Advanced Digital Tools for Architectural Design and Structural Optimisation (80111) in the Master of Technology. This microcredential may qualify for recognition of prior learning at this and other institutions.

Who should do this microcredential?

The course is for built environment professionals and academics who want to:

  • Advance their knowledge of computational methods and systems for architectural and structural design
  • Learn innovative computational algorithmic principles that can be used to tackle multi-criteria architectural and structural design problems.


Full price: $2,500 (GST-free)*

Special price: $1,500 (GST-free)

To help you build future-focused skills during COVID-19, this course is currently offered at a reduced rate of $1,500 (full price $2,500).

*Price subject to change. Please check price at time of purchase. 

Enrolment conditions

COVID-19 response 

Additional course information

Course outline

Working in groups with other course participants, you’ll design a canopy-like structure using the highly detailed and parametric approach of Grasshopper 3D (a plugin for Rhino 3D). This canopy will be the case study through which you will examine different structural, architectural and environmental design objectives, creating a framework for learning and applying a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm in the design process.

Next, you’ll learn how to analyse the structural qualities of your design through the use of Karamba 3D and conduct solar analysis on your design using native Grasshopper components. You’ll gain hands-on experience applying these analytic methods for optimisation using the evolutionary engine, Wallacei.

Once you’ve completed your design, you’ll prepare your files for the fabrication process. Please note that the course does not cover the fabrication process itself. You will present your design process and outcomes to the class, allowing for critical feedback that will further develop the skills and knowledge you've gained throughout the course.

Course delivery

Face-to-face learning through the use of digital tools.

Course learning objectives

By the end of this course, you’ll understand:  

  • Multi-criteria design thinking
  • Parametric and generative design
  • Structural analysis using Karamba 3D
  • Solar analysis in Grasshopper 3D
  • 3D modelling
  • 3D visualisation and animations in Grasshopper 3D.


To pass the course, participants must have full attendance and complete all submission requirements as per the assessment criteria stated in the course outline.

Assessment will be pass/fail.



  • Participants must have knowledge and prior use of 3D modelling software, preferably Rhino 3D 
  • Basic knowledge and prior use of either Python programming or Grasshopper 3D.

On-campus and onsite course logistics


  • Morning and afternoon tea provided.

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