PhD Courses in Denmark

Experimental Architecture with Computational Design and Digital Fabrication

The PhD School at the Faculty of Engineering at University of Southern Denmark

Course for PhD students within the fields of Architecture, Engineering and Design

Registration and information:
Registration no later than 1 June 2022
Send an e-mail to Charlotte Bruun,, who can also inform you about the exact time and place for the first day of the course when this is available.
Offered in Odense, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M

Maximum number of participants: 3

Note on pandemic restrictions:
If the COVID-19 pandemic is not under control, and the course thereby is made impossible to carry out the course will be cancelled. Information on this will be available as soon as we have it.


PhD course is relevant for students with a master’s degree in the fields of Architecture, Engineering and Design who are interested in or curious about digital design and innovative fabrication methods applied to the built environment. Lecturer may ask for background material to evaluate applicants’ compatibility with course objectives.

Offered 8– 19 August 2022 August (attention: may include activities in the weekend of 13–14 August)

Duration: 2-week intensive course; course runs from 09 to 18.00 on week days.

Suited for PhD-students in the fields of Architecture, Engineering and Design

Learning objectives - Knowledge

  • The emerging digital technologies of fabrication, such as Additive Manufacturing (AM), robotics and CNC Machinery, their characteristics, possibilities and limitations
  • The potential enabled using digital fabrication technologies in the context of design and construction
  • Computational tools for design, engineering and fabrication that allow the integration of material, manufacturing, and performance

Learning objectives - Skills

  • Design through visual programming and parametric modelling
  • Use digital tools for early-stage analysis and optimization of material, geometrical and mechanical performance within the design process
  • Manufacture construction systems through digital fabrication processes
  • Fabricate and build full scale prototypes

Learning objectives – Competences

  • Evaluate the uses of various digital fabrication techniques and the exploration of new design solutions for architectural systems and structures
  • Involve the use of computational workflows to manage the process from design to fabrication of custom construction systems


Digital Fabrication technologies have the disruptive potential to revolutionize the way we conceive and shape our environment. Using novel fabrication techniques designers and engineers are challenged to explore innovative structures that benefit from the capacity to produce performative and sustainable architecture with, up to now, unreached levels of complexity and strategic material organization.

The course will focus on exploring ideas and producing design artifacts as answer to some fundamental driving questions: what kind of tectonic configurations can be enabled by means of digital fabrication such as additive and robotic manufacturing? How do we realize high-performance architecture with it? How can we build bespoke architecture in a sustainable way?

Adopting a design/make approach, catalyzed through tailored computational techniques, various structural configurations will be investigated. The school outcomes will be contributing to the creation of an atlas of digitally fabricated tectonic prototypes: experimental architectural configurations where material/form/structure are developed in a coherent design approach which takes full advantage of the potential of emergent fabrication techniques.

Teaching Method

The course is conceived as a highly engaging design to fabrication activity, where students will develop experimental prototypes related to specific design/research topics.

Multiple forms of instruction will be involved:

  • Theoretical Lectures on the role of digital fabrication in experimental construction
  • Guided tutorials on parametric modelling notions related to a specific course project
  • Introduction and exercises for robotic subtractive fabrication
  • Supervision of group-based design activities
  • Collaborative fabrication of prototypes by students with tutors’ coordination
  • Final review on the project’s development and output with invited guests

Period of classes: 2 full-time weeks (weekend in between included) 8 August – 19 August
Please note: Saturday 20 August has a closing morning session

Teaching language: English

Form of instruction: Lectures, Digital Exercises, Laboratory experiments  

Lecturer: Roberto Naboni 


The workload of the course corresponds to 5 ECTS, the total workload includes reading material, contribution to the development of design proposals, participation in the digital fabrication and construction activities, documentation and presentation of the work in a final review.

The course requires the student's presence at 80 % of the lectures.

The examination is held at the end of the course and consists of a final review where the course work will be discussed in a 30-minute presentation. A specific section of the group’s work will be prepared and presented by the PhD student individually. 10 minutes for critics/question will be following.

Evaluation form: Passed / Not passed.

Language: English

Preparation for the class will require reading of 5 scientific papers.

No charge