University of Technology Sydney

80112 Advanced Digital Tools for City Design



The future of our cities is becoming more and more complex as we build more data, and as climate change becomes more real. Advanced digital tools are beginning to offer potential to design for this complexity, and to design for change. This course provides a hands-on explanation of these tools for professionals working with the ever-increasing demands of urbanism.

The course investigates how advanced digital tools can be used to better understand, and consequently design, future cities so they are more robust in the face of an ever-changing climate. Using 3D software (Rhino 3D), parametric software (Grasshopper 3D) and generative and evolutionary software (Wallacei), students explore the challenges associated with solving complex design problems that are inherent to the design of urban settlements.

To do it, students take the approach that prioritises the process (i.e. how the design problem is formulated) rather than the end product (i.e. the actual design solution). This approach starts by exploring the processes of adaptation in biological systems in nature, where continual change is the norm. This allows us to reflect on the nature of the design problem in the city and its evolution. Throughout the course students engage with varying computational methods to better understand what constitutes a ‘design problem’ and to identify the most efficient approach to formulate the problem in order to generate the most optimal results.

Detailed subject description.

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