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B o s t o n   A r c h i t e c t u r a l   C o l l e g e                                                                                                                B A C
  V S  1 2 1   I n t r o d u c t i o n   t o  D e s i g n   C o m p u t i n g                                                                 S p r i n g  2 0 0 6
1. Purpose
The course offers a practical framework for understanding the role of computation in design. It exposes the students to the technological advancements that will influence the architectural practice within the next decade. The broader aim of the class is to form a basis for the integration of the traditional design techniques with the newly emerging computational ones. The course presents design methods associated with the use of CAD systems, from the analysis and documentation of design concepts, to the delivery of design proposals.

2. Content
Design is a creative venture with great economical, functional and social importance that requires the collaboration of a large group of specialists from different disciplines, who use an entirely different gamut of computing devices. In the past two decades computer researchers introduced technological tools that had profound impact on architectural practice: on the productivity, profitability and competitiveness of architectural firms. This preliminary course in design computing examines the relationship between design and the various forms of digital modeling and delivery of design information. The course is taught in two parts. The first part is a comprehensive introduction to the basics of computing: software, hardware and their uses in digital and physical modeling of built forms. In the second part the focus is on how the different modeling tools contribute in the construction of different design methods. The readings tend to fall into the following categories: Design tools, visionary concepts about design, emerging computational models of design.

3. Format
The course meets once a week with a lecture on a specific topic. It has the traditional seminar format, involving the participation of students in the weekly readings and presentations. All students read the weekly readings, and contribute to the discussion. Students have to make two informal presentations during the semester, and one final presentation, on topics of their interests. Developing computer scripts and personal digital design tools may also be a possible form of term project.

4. Outcome
The course offers fundamentals to designers that enable them to understand the function of computational media in architectural practice. It also presents an overview of the effort to approach design from a computational standpoint. At the end, the students will have learned the core ideas and views that will form the relationship between design and computing in the next decade. Finally, the course is useful to those who want to learn how to identify in a practical way the basic concepts and facts of, often complicated, technical issues about computation.

5. Schedule
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