The chair for CAAD at the department of architecture, ETH Zürich, researches the use of current information technologies as an augmentation of the concept of architecture. This extended definition covers; design support through means of digital media, design,fabrication & building with computer controlled machines, and intelligent building services.
The postgraduate studies in CAAD are open to local and international graduates with professional experience from the field of architecture and adjacent disciplines. The main focus of the education is computer based architectural design and its automatic production.
Throughout the studies the participants expand their proficiencies in modelling, computer based design, construction, production, multimedia presentation, and marketing. These skills augment thier capabilities as architects, incorporate new fields of activities and help to expand the definition of architecture as a whole.
The practical modules are:
The theoretical modules are:
- ‘parametrised CAAD’ which enables through quick and individual modifiable drawings a client-based adaptable architecture.
- ‘multimedia presentations’ connect digital designs with effects that extend the purely paper based presentations.
- ‘internetbased interaction’ enabled new forms of product development and marketing.
- ‘object oriented programming’ shows a systematically way of thinking which defines deep structures in software design as well as in the design of physical buildings. In the same time it opens up towards a computer generated architecture.
- ‘cnc production’ enables the physical production of individual architectural items on the chair’s own cutting and milling machines.
- the use of ‘machines’ and ‘multimedia technologies’ in architecture are shown through historical and current examples in order to position the own works.
- ‘mass customization’ is seen as an answer to the networking of designer, merchandiser and producer. It positions the architect back into his classical role coordinator and as creative potential.
- ‘computer generated architecture’ shows partly substantial formal and tectonically differences compared to today’s used functional and conceptual architecture.
The studies take one full year and begin in the winter term. The program is divided into about 7-10 modules, which are taught in seminars that are each concluded with an individual or group project. The studies end with an individual thesis. Teaching languages are English and German. The number of participants is 6 to 12.