Module Catalogues

Parametric Design & Industry

Module Title Parametric Design & Industry
Module Level Level 4
Module Credits 5.00
Academic Year 2023/24
Semester SEM1

Aims and Fit of Module

Recent years have seen the exponential growth of digital processes that enable accurate definition and rapid manufacture of complex components, using many kinds of materials for use in many types of environments. As a purpose to manage complex decisions, customization, improved quality and manufacturing speed, many industries have formed interdependent digital processes and production methods, to refine and improve design their products. Parametric modeling, tools, and thinking are pivotal in developing design software and processes that help visualizing and constructing forms and structures within a virtual environment, allowing ideas to be prototyped and tested to a much more realistic stage, before committing to manufacture and final production. As specialist industries continue to develop their own digital programmes and systems that lead research innovation and entrepreneurship in the market-place, and the mechanization of robotics for rapid production processes allows choices of materials selection and customization without needing significant volumes and economies of scale, investment in digital systems has become both more strategic and more sustainable, as a critical part of the design process.
With such a wide range of available technologies, the module focuses on the fundamentals of parametric and rule-based modeling for design of products, furniture and spaces, while nurturing a design approach that levels up the authorship of individual artifacts to performance-based, efficiency-related design outcomes. Utilizing digital design and fabrication techniques available in the FabLab, the module will allow students to apply the skills acquired in generative modeling to the making of two physical outcome projects.

Learning outcomes

A. Understand the principles of parametric design programmes and how they are integrated at different points of the design and manufacturing process
B. Apply design skills in parametric and rule-based modeling to the creation of digital models of existing products through the study of their geometries and parametric features
C. Demonstrate how different digital design processes contributes to user research, through digital prototyping, and evaluation of research data
D. Develop design models through digital and parametric platforms, prototyping to demonstrate additive structures and generative visualizations
E. Ability to assess rule-based parametric choices in relationship with final aesthetic outcomes

Method of teaching and learning

This module is taught through a combination of:
Computer lab sessions to learn basic digital design processes and further 3D parametric design programmes and applications, in-class sessions to support the skills needed.
Coursework to use basic features and create CAD models with simple geometry, then later with more advanced CAD techniques and more complex additive structures.
Lectures and seminars that provide the industry knowledge and case studies of digital design in practice, together with exemplars from different contexts and situations, user research, technical innovation, product, furniture, and spatial design.
Tutorials and digital design tasks - simple digital design task development. This may also include visits to other specialist centers to review equipment that demonstrate digital design samples being produced.
Students will undertake digital design projects with critical evaluation and revised development prototypes to improve their understanding, knowledge and experience. This will include both individual work and group work, that will contribute towards their final learning outcomes.