Great design only happens through great collaborations which is enabled through the various BIM and parametric tools. MaCAD BIM and Smart Construction Studio Expandable Space Habitats had a particular focus on this digital collaboration across design groups, software platforms, time zones and file formats.


A number of the BIM / Parametric Design tools in the AEC industry find their origins within the fields of aerospace, automotive and mechanical engineering. For this studio, led by Xavier De Kestelier (Hassell, SmartGeometry), Joanna Maria Lesna (Hassell) and Levent Özruh (Hassell), MaCAD students worked in the fairly new field of Space Architecture. 

We are in a new age of human space exploration, both in orbit and on the Lunar surface. NASA is currently funding several companies to replace the current International Space Station with a commercial lower earth orbit station. At the same time the Artemis program has been launched, with the aim to bring astronauts back to the moon with an ultimate goal of having a permanent habitable base on the Moon.

During the course, students have been divided in two teams, each of which have developed a Space Habitat project. One team focused on a Lunar base, whilst the other team focused on an Orbital base.


These complex projects have been developed with a certain level of detail in a collaborative scenario, tied by a common infrastructure whose changes influenced each of the projects at their cores. This forced the students to create interfaces that can parametrically adapt during the project development.

The final presentations hosted two main online sessions reflecting the students’ projects developed for both the Moon and Orbit surfaces connected online with a global jury of experts made by:


MOON – Jury Panel


ORBIT – Jury Panel

At course completion the student could establish a design workflow based on a parametric model that can react to different unforeseen circumstances during the development.

They also produced detailed documentation of the project that can update parametrically with every change in the development, working on a collaborative digital model that can be published online.

Learn more about the MaCAD course on IAAC Blog.

Interested in in the application of the latest digital softwares for design simulation, analysis and optimization of digital data in architecture?

The application for the next edition of the online Master in Advanced Computation for Architecture & Design (MaCAD) is already open!