Advanced Parametric Design with Grasshopper 6

By Robert McNeel & Associates

Seattle, Washington [June 26-28, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM, 18 hours]

Register here.

Instructor: Rajaa Issa


This three day intensive course is aimed for creative designers seeking to develop critical and comprehensive understanding of parametric design methods using Grasshopper. This course is meant for highly motivated individuals with good knowledge of Rhino modeling environment and Grasshopper interface and workflow.


Date and location:

June 26-28, 2018. Daily from 9:00AM to 4:00PM (US Pacific Time)

McNeel Seattle (map), 3670 Woodland Park Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, US.


Course Fee US$795.00

e-mail: Jody Mills

phone: (206) 634-4571


This course is meant for highly motivated individuals with good knowledge of Rhino modeling environment and Grasshopper interface and workflow.

To ensure readiness, please review the following tutorials before class:

Grasshopper getting started tutorials (1-13): Introduction to Grasshopper


Essential Mathematics for Computational Design. Free download…


Rhinoceros and Grasshopper 6. Download


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.

Growth and change is embedded deeply in nature, and is often a great source of inspiration. Observing changing patterns can be mimicked using digital processes. This workshop shows how algorithms inspired by evolutionary processes can be designed to enable creative exploration of form, with designers having full control over the process and result.


Day One: Algorithms and Data Structures

Algorithmic Thinking: (1 hours)

Develop understanding to algorithmic design workflow. Tutorials include methods to define problems and derive logical steps of the solution. This is essential skill to be able to solve parametric problems and articulate elegant solutions.

Data Structures: (2 hours)

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

Lunch: (1 hours)

Data Structures: (2 hours)

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

Algorithm Types: (1 hours)

Overview of common types of algorithms, and how to manage various data structures.

Day Two: Parametric Geometry

Vectors and Transformation: (3 hours)

Review essential mathematics concepts necessary for constructing parametric solutions focusing on vectors and transformations.

Lunch: (1 hours)

NURBS Geometry: (3 hours)

Review geometry concepts necessary for constructing parametric solutions. That includes number mapping, vectors, transformations, curves and surfaces.

Day Three: Parametric Design

Parametric Design : (3 hours)

Introduce a conceptual parametric design approach for concept development and form finding. Involves step by step tutorials to develop a parametric solution using multiple parameters and complex data structure. The tutorials will show how to build a mechanism to control the geometry, projections, growth and display to achieve synchronous change that evolves over time. Capture snapshots and record the solution animation.

Lunch: (1 hours)

Project: (3 hours)

Use the synchronous evolution process in the parametric design unit to develop new forms and processes. Capture snapshots of the solution, then record an animation. Students may work individually or with a partner.

Instructor bio

Rajaa Issa is a member of Robert McNeel & Associates development team with special interest in architectural geometry, parametric design, and surface rationalization. She developed a number of specialized plugins for architecture such as PanelingTools and SectionTools. She is actively involved in education and has developed and taught a number of graduate level courses in digital design methodologies in architecture. She organized and participated in many conferences nationally and internationally. She authored a number of papers and manuals including the “Essential Mathematics for Computational Design”. She holds a masters degree in architecture from Auckland University, New Zealand, and a masters degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Texas. Her B.Sc. in architectural engineering was earned from Baghdad University. She lives with her family and two kids in San Diego, California.