MSc in Computational Design and Digital Fabrication

Awarded by the University of Nicosia

University of Nicosia (UNic)
46 Makedonitissas Avenue, Engomi
P.O. Box 24005
1700 Nicosia – Cyprus

University of Innsbruck (UIbk)
Institute for Experimental Architecture.Hochbau
Technikerstrasse 21c, 6020
Innsbruck – Austria

PROGRAMME PURPOSE & OBJECTIVES

The MSc in Computational Design and Digital Fabrication investigates the relationship between computational tools and architectural design. The programme focuses on programming languages as the basis of computational design methods and digital fabrication tools, in an effort to attain a coherent understanding of the relationship between coding, design intent and built form.

The programme objective is to offer prospective participants the opportunity to develop computational design skills and hands-on cutting-edge fabrication techniques, while acquiring mature analytical thinking on the theory and applications of computational tools in architecture along with creative problem-solving working methods.

Most importantly, as the program is based on a Distance Learning Structure, students have the ability to learn remotely from faculty of the University of Nicosia and the University of Innsbruck, whose Architecture Departments are focused on these cutting edge technologies, as well as gain access, via the 2 on-site intensive workshops, to the ARC Fab Lab in Nicosia and the Robotic Lab (REXLAB) of the Institute for Experimental Architecture in Innsbruck, which has a strong background of robotic research in architecture by establishing connections between academia and industry.

The online courses cultivate the students’ computational skills for their attendance of the 2 intensive on-site fabrication workshops where they can test their newly acquired knowledge on-site. This allows participants to establish academic and industry connections, become part of the global community of parametric design and computational research in digital fabrication, an ever-growing industry increasingly important for the built environment.

HOSTING INSTITUTIONS

The MSc in Computational Design and Digital Fabrication is offered by the University of Nicosia in collaboration with the University of Innsbruck, Institute for Experimental Architecture Hochbau.

PROGRAMME CONTENT

Upon successful completion of this program, the students should be able to:

  1. Acquire knowledge and expertise in computational design and digital fabrication in relation to architecture and design.
  2. Interpret and criticize specific design methodologies, current applications and emerging advances in the field of computational design and digital fabrication.
  3. Asses the effect of these methodologies and applications in the production of the built environment.
  4. Conduct research leading to new knowledge.
  5. Propose original applications of analysis and research knowledge in the field of computational design and digital fabrication through design projects.
  6. Evaluate current methodologies and develop critiques of them, in relation to the question set and the outcome of the method.
  7. Identify problems in design-to-fabrication workloads and develop solutions based on feedback loops between digital and material world.
  8. Display high-level and sought-after skills in pursuing computational design research, including software skills, 3D-modelling, visual computer programming and text-based programming.
  9. Display high-level skills in pursuing digital fabrication and material research, including material properties understanding and physical prototyping.
  10. Formulate material fabrication techniques and physical prototyping as a medium for improving design communication and outcome.
  11. Unfold leadership skills, through teamwork and workshops, relative to architectural workflows with the purpose of enriching current practices or introducing new processes that can provide design solutions as a result of automated, computational processes.
  12. Develop the capacity to creatively deal with complex problems either individually or as part of a group through research and design projects.
  13. Acquire the ability to communicate research and design conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences through design projects and presentations

The postgraduate programme operates as a cross-disciplinary platform aiming to bring together participants from various design and engineering specializations. The course is open to architects, interior designers, industrial designers, artists, graphic designers, engineers and suitably qualified candidates from other disciplines. For admission to the programme the candidates should submit the following documents:

  • Completed application form.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Detailed Portfolio displaying the background and/or interest in the theme of computational design and digital fabrication.
  • Basic computing experience.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (together with a transcript) from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Short statement (approximately two pages) of personal goals, research aims and the reasons for your interest in the course.
  • If your first language is not English, you might be requested to demonstrate that you meet the University of Nicosia Postgraduate Admissions Requirements for English Language Proficiency found here: https://www.unic.ac.cy/admission-requirements/english-placement-test/
  • Contact Details of two referees, preferably one from academia and one from a professional supervisor.
  • Other documents that might support the application (e.g. articles, books, awards).
  • The admissions process may include an interview during which the candidate can take a few minutes to present a topic of his own choice

Compulsory Courses
ARCH-570DL Digital Fabrication – University of Nicosia
ARCH-571DL Theory and Evolution of Computational Design
ARCH-572DL Computational Design Processes
ARCH-580DL Robotic Fabrication – University of Innsbruck
ARCH-581DL Interactive Design
ARCH-582DL Performance Based Design

Elective Courses
ARCH-590DL Research Methodology in Design & Technology
ARCH-593DL Special Topics in Computation
ARCH-591DL Design Project
ARCH-592DL Thesis

The institution’s programmes of study, including the new (proposed) programme in the proper position (i.e. by indicating the School and Department under which the new programme operates, by noting whether the programme is inter-university, inter-departmental etc):

The M.Sc “Computational Design and Digital Fabrication” is a Degree offered in collaboration with the University of Innsbruck, Faculty of Architecture, and The Institute for Experimental Architecture.

The programme will belong to the [ARC] Department of Architecture which is under the School of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Law of the University of Nicosia

The Dean of the School of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Law of the University of Nicosia is Christos Panayides, Professor. Head of [ARC] Department of Architecture is Alessandra Swiny, Associate Professor.

For Quality Assurance for the programme of study:

The programme is managed by a four-member Committee: the two programme coordinators (one from the University of Nicosia and one from the University of Innsbruck and the respective department Heads. This Committee is responsible for the internal evaluation of the programme. The Committee monitors the programme and is responsible for its quality assurance. All course outlines and exam papers are submitted to the Committee for feedback. The Committee meets at the end of each semester and after examining the development of the programme, makes suggestions for improvement. The Committee is responsible for the recruitment of the Special Teaching Faculty who teach in the programme.

An advisory board formed by members of leading Institutions in computational design will also provide feedback to the programme. The advisory board will follow the course’s development, present lectures and seminars and sit on juries and crits. The board will meet at the end of each academic year to review and make suggestions for the alignment of the course learning outcome and to reflect on the effectiveness of the teaching and assessment methods of the lecturers.

Advisory Board Members

  • Dr. Marjan Colletti, Chair Professor UIBK / Associate, Professor UCL, Director of Computing The Bartlett – UCL, Head of Institute for Experimental Architecture.Hochbau
  • Dr. Guan Lee, Studio Master, AD Master’s Course, The Bartlett – UCL
  • Martha Tsigkari, Partner and a member of the Applied Research and Development (ARD) group at Foster + Partners

ACADEMIC/ TEACHING PERSONNEL & THEIR QUALIFICATIONS

Pavlos Fereos, Senior Scientist, UIbk (programme coordinator)

Pavlos Fereos is a Senior Scientist at Institute of Experimental Architecture in Innsbruck, teaching Robotic Fabrication at REX|LAB and Design Studio. He holds a MArch and a MSc in Architectural Research from the NTUA.

He also holds an M.Arch from the Design Research Laboratory of the Architectural Association where he also directed the AA Visiting Schools in Cyprus and Innsbruck, while he has taught at the Bartlett and London Southbank University and he’s a PhD Candidate at UCL.

He is a RIBA Part 3 registered Architect, has collaborated with MVRDV in competition entries and he is a partner at Fereos + Associates with several realized projects and numerous awarded including 1st and 2nd prize in Architectural competitions. He’s director of Decode Fab Lab, a Fabrication and Prototyping Lab in Athens, focusing on medium to large scale 3D-Printing, Laser-cutting, CNC and Robotic prototyping techniques.

Michail Georgiou, Assistant Professor, UNic (programme coordinator)

Michail Georgiou is a practicing architect/founding member of HUB design platform and Seamlexity and an assistant professor at the Department of Architecture [ARC] of the University of Nicosia in the field of Computational Design and Digital Fabrication. He holds a MSc in Adaptive Architecture and Computation from the Barlett and a MArch from NTUA where he is currently pursuing his PhD.

His current research focuses in applying computational tools in assisting and enriching design and construction processes. Before moving on to realize his own professional collaborations and projects Michalis has worked with Foster + Partners in London, as a design architect and design analyst, member of the Specialist’s Modeling Group.

He is a registered Architect in ARB/UK and ETEK/Cyprus while his work has received numerous local and international distinctions including the state architecture award and a recent nomination for the European Union Mies Van Der Rohe prize.

Odysseas Georgiou, Adjunct Faculty, UNic

Odysseas Georgiou is a computational design engineer at SEAMLEXITY and adjunct Faculty at the Department of Architecture [ARC] University of Nicosia. He holds an MEng from the School of Civil Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens and an MPhil in Digital Architecture from the University of Bath where he researched on computational geometry & structural optimisation.

He has practiced at Buro Happold Engineers London collaborating with renowned international architectural practices in designing geometrically complex structures. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Bath researching interactive approaches to structural design and reinventing forms based on their structural performance.

Marios Tsiliakos, Lecturer, UIbk

Marios Tsiliakos is an Architect specializing in Design Computation, holding a MArch from N.T.U of Athens and a Msc in Adaptive Architecture and Computation from the Bartlett U.C.L. He is an Associate at Foster + Partners, expanding the boundaries of applied computation in everyday large scale architectural projects. In addition, he holds a lecturer’s position at the Institute for Experimental Architecture: Hochbau in Innsbruck Austria, integrating design computation into the contemporary architecture student’s curriculum.

His research has been published extensively in peer reviewed conferences specialised in C.A.D, such as the eCAADe and CAADRIA. His generative design work has been exhibited and presented around Europe, Asia and North America. Part of his ongoing research is the development of “Nudibranch” an add on for Grasshopper3d, of McNeel’s + Associates Rhinoceros3d, addressing scalar field generative systems

Dr Petros Lapithis, Professor, UNic

Dr Petros Lapithis holds the position of Professor and coordinator of the postgraduate programme at the Architecture Department, University of Nicosia, Cyprus. Lapithis holds a doctorate degree in Passive Solar Architecture, a M.Sc. in Architecture, and an M.Sc. in Environmental Design and Engineering. Lapithis is also the recipient of a Certificate in Education for Teachers of Architecture and a Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include sustainable design, issues of quality of life, energy conservation, bioclimatic architecture and solar energy design.

He has been awarded various grants and his work has been published in international conferences and other media. Lapithis is the principal of P.A. Lapithis Architecture, founded in 1995 and is also the founder and president of Pantheon Cultural Association (since 1999), a non-governmental organization that promotes and organizes various cultural and artistic activities in Cyprus. Lapithis is also a Specialised Expert for Certificates of Energy Output for Buildings, Ministry of Commerce Industry and Tourism, Energy Services. Lapithis is deeply involved in research and has been advising Bachelor, Master and PhD students and has published a book “A Practical Guide to Better Research and Writing for Design Students”

Georg Grasser, Senior Lecturer, UIbk

Georg Grasser studied architecture at the University of Innsbruck, Ecole d’Architecture de Paris la Villette, Vienna University of Technology and holds a Postgraduate Degree in architecture, specialization in computer aided architectural design from the ETH Zurich.

He is currently teaching at the New Design Universtiy St.Pölten and researching at the Department for Experimental Architecture / Hochbau at the University of Innsbruck, where he is currently co-running the robotic laboratory. In his research he is focusing on additive manufactured concrete structures and self-organized folding strategies of textile reinforced concrete.

Dimitrios Doukas, Special Teaching Personnel

Dimitris has been working with interactive technologies for over a decade, focusing mainly on their creative applications. He acted as Head of Engineering at UNIT9 London and has since worked with other industry-leading digital production companies in the U.K. and California.

He has designed and implemented complex interactive systems for web, mobile as well as physical computing platforms, for clients such as Google, Unilever and the Science Museum of London. His work has received numerous international awards and he has spoken at several interactive software conferences around Europe. He holds and MEng in Computer Engineering and Informatics from the University of Patras, Greece.

Christina Christoforou, Computational design and digital fabrication specialist, Unic

Christina studied at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, where she completed her first two years of her studies. Then, she transferred her studies to the University of Nicosia, in the Department of Architecture (ARC), where she received her undergraduate degree in Architecture in 2017, and her Professional Diploma in Architecture in 2018. She has been working as a fabrication assistant at the University of Nicosia since 2017.

Christina has a strong interest in Computational Design, Digital Fabrication, and Pavilions, and she was involved in several Pavilion fabrications. In 2017, she participated at the FAB FEST LONDON Competition, where the Pavilion was awarded first place in the fabrication category. Her diploma research focused on fabricating deployable, adaptable Pavilion structures, whereas her thesis project focused on the role of pavilions in Architecture.Christina is a registered Architect at ETEK/Cyprus.

ADVISORY

Dr. Marjan Colleti, Professor, UIbk

Marjan Colletti architect (I and UK), educator, author, researcher. Born in Bolzano/Bozen Italy in 1972, he graduated with distinction from Innsbruck University in 1997. After having worked for Giencke&Co. in Austria, and after having registered as an architect in Italy he moved to London.

He graduated with distinction with a Master’s of Architectural Design from the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL in 1999, where he afterwards completed a PhD by Architectural Design programme entitled Digital Poetics: An Enquiry into the Properties of ‘Mimetic Intrafaces’ and the ‘Twoandahalf Dimensionality’ of Computer-Aided Architectural Design.

He is p/t Chair Professor in Building Design and Construction at the University of Innsbruck Austria and Head of the Institute for Experimental Architecture, where he founded REX|LAB, and in parallel p/t Full Professor in Architecture and Post Digital Practice (world’s first) and the MArch programme co-director at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL. He has taught in many other institutions in the UK, the US, the EU and Asia.

He is a respected member of the international architectural community, contributing in particular to the topics of design-research in architecture, research-led education, digital design and postdigital practice. He regularly lectures, exhibits, collaborates and publishes internationally and acts as peer reviewer for several institutions around the globe.

Studio Master, AD Master’s Course, The Bartlett – UCL

Martha Tsigkari is a Partner and a member of the Applied Research and Development (ARD) group at Foster + Partners. She is a specialist in a wide range of areas including Performance-driven Design and Optimisation, Interfaces & Interaction, Design-to-production and Fast Feedback & Integration. Her work incorporates the development of simulation tools, the introduction of integrated processes and the creation of physical interfaces. She has provided solutions for hundreds of diverse projects such as the new airport for Mexico City, Lusail Iconic Stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the new metro stations for Jeddah, UAE’s 2015 Expo Pavilion, the Sheikh Zayed Museum and YachtPlus Boat Fleet. She is a member of the RIBA, a tutor at UCL and a juror at AA. She has taught, lectured and published on the subjects of BIM, parametric and algorithmic design internationally.

SCHOLARSHIPS

We offer two types of scholarships to eligible students of the MSc in Computational Design and Digital Fabrication.

Academic Merit
Scholarship

Type: Merit Based
Amount: 20%

This scholarship will be offered to students with strong academic records, regardless of their previous diploma relevance to computational design.Minimum level required for undergraduate degree will be an ‘upper class’ 2:1 UK degree or equivalent.

20%

Application Process
Submit online MSc Program Application, the Scholarship Application, Cover Letter, Undergraduate Transcript and Sample of Work in pdf format (8 pages max)

Computational Background Scholarship

Type: Merit Based
Amount: 40%

This scholarship will be offered to students with proven strong background in computational design and/or digital fabrication in their bachelor studies (fabrication workshops, programming or coding experience). Again a 2:1 equivalent degree should be considered, but not necessarily required if a strong portfolio is submitted.

40%

Application Process
Submit online MSc Program Application, the Scholarship Application, Cover Letter, Undergraduate Transcript and Sample of Work in pdf format (8 pages max)

Along with the below scholarship application, all requested documents for scholarship evaluation must be submitted using the online programme application dashboard, that you will be automatically logged into once you submit the Request Information form on this website.

Start an Application Today!

Three Easy Steps to Get Started:

  • Submit the form on the right to create an online student account.
  • You will be automatically logged in to your online account where you can start an application.
  • Complete the online application and submit it. It is simple, straightforward and only takes 5 minutes.

That’s it! Once you submit your application, one of our admissions advisors will contact you with more information and to answer any questions.

Request Information