Pioneer architects in physical (analog) form finding techniques like Frei Otto and Gaudí, used the rules of physics to their advantage to integrate structural systems into architectural proposals. With the technologies at hand today this is possible through digital simulations that allow the user to design in a more intuitive manner.


This workshop will explore the possibilities of conceptual design using real world physical behavior, through the use of the grasshopper plugin Kangaroo, by David Piker. As well, students will learn the use of meshing tools to optimize their designs for most accurate simulations. We will play with the rules of physics by understanding the basic concepts of particles (points), springs (lines) and forces (vectors) in a digital environment (Rhinoceros). This conceptual simplicity will allow us to apply and manipulate the physics simulations in a very direct and playful way.

We will use real case studies to create our own digital tools that will help us develop virtual form finding systems. Using the different Kangaroo goals we will be able to simulate in real time concepts such as: tensile relaxation, chain models, circle packing and shell structures.

Bio of the tutor: Rodrigo Aguirre

Rodrigo Aguirre is an architect specialized in computational design and digital manufacturing. He completed the two year master in advanced architecture at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Spain, 2013. He is a principal member of the computational faculty at IaaC and workshop developer for advanced form finding and computational methods

Requirements for participants

Every student is required to have an installation of Windows (preferable Windows 7 x64). If you have an Apple computer, it is recommended that you install Windows on Boot Camp which will perform better than Parallels or VMWare. It is recommended that you max out the RAM potential on your computer.

Tuition fee

General fee – 250€
20% discount for students (student card required)
15% discount for COAC members
15% discount for Poblenou Urban District Associates

Day 1 (18:00-21:00): Introduction to Kangaroo and basic physics concepts.
Day 2 (18:00-21:00): Meshing tools and basic kangaroo goals
Day 3 (18:00-21:00): Advanced techniques for kangaroo goals and interactive design processes
Day 4 (18:00-21:00): Final Exercise. Build your own tools