Study workshop for digital design and production methods

The main topics at the study workshop are digital production processes and digital design technologies and methods – the latter with a clear focus on parametric design.

The teaching is divided into three parts. It firstly consists of individual support for students on issues related to digital modelling and completing their projects – in close cooperation with workshops related in terms of their subject matter like the ::digipool or the plastics, metal and wood workshops.

Regular seminars – some of them in compact form – are provided on the principles of digital design, modelling, presentation and production – the 3D drill. Seminars are also regularly held on parametric modelling – the main focus here has moved from classic scripts on Rhino to Grasshopper during the last few years. The characteristic feature of the Grasshopper seminars is the constant change between different modelling levels – analogue and digital – always with the aim of at least completing a scale model or a prototype section of a design in physical form at the end.  

More extensive topics, which are mainly geared towards the interfaces between design and architecture, are finally handled during project seminars with parametric design and digital production methods; and they are often completed on a larger scale too.

Seminars and project seminars are normally made available for students of product design and architecture, but they are also open to people from any other courses. An ongoing and close cooperation arrangement has existing with the structural design and digital design methods for architecture specialist fields since 2004. This cooperation extends beyond pure theory to the research area and this has led to a number of joint projects and publications.  

As the “workshop” is not organised in a normal manner and introductory courses in this field of study make little sense from a teaching point of view, they are not made available.  

The main element in the workshop is a powerful 3-axis CNC milling machine, which is administered through student tutors and employees in the service company and can also be used for non-university projects. A CNC Fabrication Lab is in the development stage – the initial stages involve laser scanners and laser cutters as well as a 3D printer; CNC wire bending and forming and CNC foam cutting machines are also in the planning stage. There is also a close cooperation arrangement with the metal workshop and its CNC water jet cutter.


Santagati-Juraschek, Valeria

Director Digital Design and Production Methods Workshop