Special Topic: Digital Design Methodologies

Victoria University of Wellington

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Special Topic: Digital Design Methodologies

  • Host University

    Victoria University of Wellington

  • Location

    Wellington, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    60 pts 200 level ARCI/BILD/INTA/LAND; Students must provide a portfolio of work for pre-approval before International Orientation and Enrolment week at Victoria University of Wellington. Students can only submit portfolios in a CD, PDF, website or proper booklet format. Printouts are strongly discouraged. The portfolio must be an accurate representation of the student?s skills set to date.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    This course investigates key theoretical standpoints in the rapidly changing field of digital design and computation. It will cover a broad range of design practices and processes that engage with various tools that are now critical to the production of architecture.

    An extensive insight into the rapid innovation and associated critical theory of digital design and computational methodologies.

    This paper will have a dual purpose:
    1. To investigate the broad field of critical theory in relation to the rapidly expanding area of digital design and computation,
    2. To engage with analogue and digital processes in the delivery of a small scale speculative design as ?design research.?

    This course will give students the opportunity to explore and gain an understanding of a range of concepts and theoretical viewpoints that may be applied to the analysis of recently built projects influenced by digital design processes and methods. It will enable students to develop a critical framework from which to understand and engage with the ?digital turn? in advance of potential deeper enquiry into this field later in their degree course.

    The course will navigate this diverse field through engaging with current arguments, philosophies and theories around digital production with a view to understanding its influence, effects and implications on a rapidly changing practice environment. Significant case study analyses highlighting selected architectural projects and their various practice
    methodologies will be used in class to unravel the complexity of design logic concerning the flow of information, the parametric modulation of material systems, geometry and program. While theoretical debate and discussion will be encouraged, everyday digital tools and mediums; software packages and selected fabrication tools will also be discussed, compared and evaluated.

    An emphasis will be placed upon fostering an understanding of materials systems and algorithmic thinking - through both hands on analogue scale model investigations and speculative, explorative digital modelling as part of a wider process of design and production. Tutorial sessions will be used to support this work. Understanding the ?live? relationship between analogue and digital will be a main feature of the tutorial sessions where students will be encouraged to engage with computer-aided manufacturing and digital fabrication technologies.

    Students will be required to complete two projects: a brief A4 bound report and a speculative design project that demonstrates their understanding of parametric workflows and rudimentary digital fabrication methods.

    Course Learning Objectives
    SARC 382 students who pass this course will be able to:
    1: Understand computational workflows within an appropriate practice and theoretical framework.
    2: Understand the broad field of digital design theory within clearly defined genre fields.
    3: Apply theoretical analysis within the digital paradigm to a wide range of case studies and examples as a mode of analysis.
    4: Demonstrate a sufficient level of competency in the use of hands on modelling and digital tools in a design studio environment.

    Project 1 50%
    Project 2 50%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.