ARCH 517 2011: Assignments


For their seminar project, students will identify a unique architectural opportunity for searching the "design space" with an evolutionary solver. Students will define what constitutes an optimal design characteristic and use Grasshopper and Galapagos to seek out and evaluate alternatives.

Additional tools, applications, and plug-ins may also be explored as part of the workflow.

Students will have the freedom to choose their own novel scenario to execute. For example, it would acceptable for a student to apply Galapagos as part of their studio design project or thesis work.

The final submission will consist of:

  • The final Grasshopper/Galapagos algorithm submitted to student's lab page on The Proving Ground Wiki.
  • A short video capture (+/- 1 minute) of the Galapagos tool in action. (Hosted on Vimeo)
  • A short conclusive summary of what the algorithm is doing and thoughts on future improvements.

The video capture can be done with using the free program CamStudio. The final video is to be uploaded to Vimeo.

For an example of what a final video might look like, visit my video on using Galapagos to optimize a tower form based on an Ecotect solar analysis.


In addition to the seminar project, weekly exercises will be given which will test the student's ability to successfully use Galapagos to solve various abstract spatial problems. Without exception, students will post their solution to their labs page by the next class period.


  • Resources: Students may use any resources available to them to complete the assignments. Students are encouraged to communicate via the discussion forums on this wiki or ask questions on the Grasshopper forums. Yes, the instructor is a valid resource.
  • Collaboration: Teamwork and collaboration is highly encouraged. However, if students choose to work together on any assignment, they must cite the contributions of their collaborators within their submission.
  • Attribution: Always credit your authorship of a given work. Likewise, If you use or modify materials that are not of your original creation, you must always cite proper authorship. This class has a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism.
  • Late Work/Exercises: Late work and exercises will not be accepted. Grades will be penalized as a result of late work.

Unless otherwise specified by the student, all work will be attributed to the students and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


Who deserves an A?

The A student demonstrates proficiency and enthusiasm in using the Grasshopper plug-in and in the course content. This can be measured in in a number of ways including the level of participation on the wiki.

The A student completes assignments, regularly posts explorations to their laboratory page, and contributes thoughtful content to the assigned topics page. The A student initiates conversations on the forum, helps others in need, and asks questions when they run into problems or don't understand a concept.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License