Parametric design

lloci2006  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Parametric design
3.00 credits
30.0 h


This course aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills to plan, devise, implement and revisit a parametric building design for a given site and for a range of environmental and construction-related considerations. The course uses Rhinoceros 3D and Grasshopper as well as other plug-ins to equip you with the necessary experience in parametric design.
The course is taught fully in English.

Main themes

  • Theory of parametric design
  • Parametrising 3D modelling
  • Grasshopper
  • Environmental design (climate analysis, bioclimatic design, embodied environmental flows modelling)
  • Intro to optimisation: Constraints and objectives
  • Reflexivity in parametric design

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, you will be able to:
  1. Plan, devise, implement, test, revisit and critique a parametric design for a given building;
  2. Embed a range of constraints and objectives into the parametric environmental design of a building;
  3. Present your work in a concise and graphically stimulating manner;
  4. Provide constructive feedback to your peers to help them improve their work; and
  5. Demonstrate awareness vis-à-vis the latest international developments in parametric architecture and design.


A good of command of English, both written and spoken (level B2 at least).
Teaching methods
The subject is organised into 12 weekly seminars of 3 hours each.
The seminars are held online to facilitate paricipation across campuses.
Students are required to attend the seminar in person three times during the semester, in Brussels/St Gilles (first week, week 9 and last week).
Evaluation methods
Your performance is evaluated throughout the semester and through different means, as per the calendar below:
  • Case study of parametric building: Due week 3: individually, prepare one A3 landscape poster of a building designed parametrically, presenting the outcome and the design process, with a critique of the building. (20%)
  • Parametric Design Plan: Due week 6: draft report, describing your parametric design approach and how you intend to proceed (mandatory, 0%)
  • Peer-review of Parametric Design Plan: Due week 7, 500 words peer-review of the Parametric Design Plan of one of your peers (10%)
  • Parametric Design Report: Due week 12, 4000 words report describing your parametric design approach, and including the digital files, to be submitted online (55%)
  • Parametric Design Presentation: Last week of the semester, In-person presentation about the report and the parametric design approach followed by questions and answers (15%)
Online resources
See the course on Moodle
Parametric Design in Rhino and Grasshopper:
  • Tedeschi, A. (2014). AAD, Algorithms-aided design: parametric strategies using Grasshopper: Le Penseur.
  • Di Marco, G. (2018). Simplified Complexity: Method for Advanced NURBS Modeling with Rhinoceros®: Le Penseur.
Environmental Parametric Design:
  • Hollberg, A., & Ruth, J. (2016). LCA in architectural design—a parametric approach. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 21(7), 943-960. doi:10.1007/s11367-016-1065-1
  • Stephan, A., Jensen, C. A., & Crawford, R. H. (2017). Improving the Life Cycle Energy Performance of Apartment Units through Façade Design. Procedia Engineering, 196, 1003-1010. doi:
  • Stephan, A., & Crawford, R. H. (2016). The relationship between house size and life cycle energy demand: Implications for energy efficiency regulations for buildings. Energy, 116, Part 1, 1158-1171. doi:
Relevant websites:
Academic conferences on parametric design:
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Architecture (Tournai)

Master [120] in Architecture (Bruxelles)

Master [120] in Architecture and Engineering