Advanced Parametric Design with Grasshopper

Space is limited. Register here.

Course Fee: 395.00

Instructor: Rajaa Issa, Robert McNeel & Associates,


This two week online course is targeted for creative designers seeking to develop critical and comprehensive understanding of parametric design methods using Grasshopper. This course is designed for highly motivated individuals with good knowledge of Rhino modeling environment and Grasshopper interface and workflow.

Date and Time:

2019, March 4,5,6,7 and 11,12,13,14.

Lecture 10-12 AM, tutorial session 1-3 PM, USA Pacific time zone.

Course Fee: 395.00

Space is limited. Register here.


Textbook: Essential Mathematics for Computational Design. Free download…

Software: Rhinoceros and Grasshopper 6. Download


To ensure readiness, please review the following tutorials before class: Grasshopper getting started tutorials (1-13): Introduction to Grasshopper

In additiona, McNeel Grasshopper Intro and Intermediate are recommended to get the most out of this advanced training. These classes are available on demand here:


Creative algorithms are malleable and open ended, while rigid algorithms are overpowering and limiting. The ability to write algorithms that empower intuitive thinking is not a trivial endeavor, but can be achieved when embrace algorithmic thinking and weave it into the creative design process.

This workshop focuses on essential mathematics and geometry used in parametric design. There will be assignments given everyday by the end of the lecture. Students are expected to solve during the afternoon interactive session where instructors will be available to help. Solutions are discussed during the subsequent session. There will also be a reading assignment to prepare before each session. Student should allow 6-8 hours per day to attend the lecture and assignments.


Session One: Algorithms

Explain the algorithmic design workflow. Guided tutorials include methods to define problems and derive logical steps of the solution. Also review common types of algorithms.

Session two: Data Structures 1

Parametric design involves processing input data and manipulate it to generate output. This data is organized in well-defined structures. Understanding these structures and how they match in a solution is key for successful design. This session will introduce basic data structures and basic data mapping.

Session three: Data Structures 2

Introduce advanced data structures of lists and data trees, and different ways to generate and manage them.

Session Four: Vectors

Explore concepts such as points, vectors and their representation in 3D coordinate system. Also discuss mathematical concepts such as number mapping and transformations.

Session Five: Vector Operations

Vector operations and essential to manipulate and transform geometry. Those include addition, subtraction, dot and cross products.

Session Six: Transformations

Transforming and morphing geometry involves the use of transformation matrices. Review the basic structure of transformation matrices and how to use to transform geometry.

Session Seven: NURBS Curves

Review NURBS geometry of curves and how to represent, evaluate and manipulate parametrically.

Session Eight: NURBS Surface and Polysurface

Review NURBS geometry of surfaces and polysurfaces and how to represent, evaluate and manipulate parametrically.

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