In this workshop we generatived forms through computational design, starting by  2D grid patterns. Using Kangaroo, a Physics Engine of Grasshopper, we explored and simulated the emergence of different formations of an elastic lattice. By extracting the desired state of the aforementioned system we moved on to the materialisation of this form, using modular laser cut units connected by “smart” joints. The challenge was to work with a non structural material as plexiglass and find ways to boost its stiffness. Therefore the students went through a series of material experimentation, including heat bending techniques. The final result is a 1:1 lightweight exhibition stand.


Every natural formation is the derivative of perpetual material transformations, external influences and forces. The complexity of this process of generative morphogenesis can be analysed by studying the repercussion that physical forces imply to a given structure or pattern, through geometric laws. As D’ Arcy Thompson said:

“The form is a system which organises itself in the presences of both internal and external forces and these organizations can shape patterns traced thr ough mathematical rules”.


In this workshop we will understand how to create such generative forms through computational design, starting by simple twodimensional grid patterns. Using Kangaroo plugin, a Physics Engine of Grasshopper, we will explore and simulate the emergence of different formations of an elastic lattice.

By extracting the desired state of the aforementioned system we will proceed with the materialisation of this form, using modular laser cut beam units connected by “smart” joints. By keeping the length of the beam stable throughout the structure, the global deformation of the structure consists of the local geometrical deformation of each node. Consequently, the detailed geometry and the material system of the joint will allow or prevent the elasticity of the form, embedding in the physical structure the properties of the computational process followed for its generation.


Generative Design
Kangaroo Physics
Digital Fabrication
Material experimentation


The syllabus of the course is divided in physical (P) and digital (D) experimentations which take place simultaneously as the one informs the other. The focus lies on the digital fabrication and connectivities of a material system but a basic practical and theoretical background of computational design supports the process.

Day 1 / Monday 19 (individuals)
D: Introduction to Rhino Grasshopper and Kangaroo
P: Laser cut exercise, cut settings for cut, engraving and folding, material nesting and labeling
Day 2 / Tuesday 20 (groups of 3)
D: Digital experimentation and form finding
P: Experimentation of a node detail, press fit technique and tolerances
Day 3 / Wednesday 21 (groups of 3)
D: Define the desired form, document it and produce laser cut files
P: Build scaled prototypes (one for each group of students)
Day 4 / Thursday 22 (team work)
D: Documentation of the process, extract numerical data
P: Select and build in 1:1 scale one of the prototypes, Connectivity experimentation, production of pieces
Day 5 / Friday 23
P: Build 1:1 installation


The workshop is open to all participants, no previous knowledge of Rhinoceros, Grasshopper is required (but useful to have basic knowledge of these software programs). Participants must bring their own laptop with a pre-installed Rhino (No additional cost for the participant &  can be downloaded as evaluation version, with Grasshopper plugins).


Efilena Baseta
Efilena is an Architect Engineer, studied in the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), with a Master degree in Advanced Architecture from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). Having developed several interactive projects, her current interest lies in exploring material properties in order to create real time responsive architectural structures. Efilena is partner of NOUMENA since 2014 and currently coordinator of IAAC Visiting Programs.


The École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais, one of the 20 French national schools of architecture, from 2001. It is a public administrative institution under the Ministry of Culture and Communication, Directorate General for Heritage, located within the historic walls of the National School of Fine Arts, the historic site of architectural doctrine before 1968.


Bourdon Clara
Gangura Petru
Humbert Charly
Laraki el Houssaini Ghalia
Pradeau Inès

Seaiby Vanessa
Zhu Zhaoying
Yan Xinyu
Siebert Marc


19-23 of September 2016

École nationale supérieure d’architecture Paris-Malaquais
Paris – France

École nationale supérieure d’architecture Paris-Malaquais
Digital Knowledge

Assistant | Matieu Venot 
Video Editing | Laura Civetti

Web and Grafic | Federica Ciccone