Texas A&M University  -  College of Architecture

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ARCH 655 Parametric Modeling in Design

Course Description

Parametric modeling principles, methods and applications in environmental design and research; architectural geometry at basic and advanced levels; parametric equations and models; visual programming method; scripting method; constraints, rules and algorithms; elements and patterns of parametric design; parametric simulation; modeling tools.


Graduate classification or instructor approval

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course students should gain knowledge of architectural computing methods centered at parametric modeling that they can apply in design studios, thesis work, research, and professional practice. Students should gain knowledge of basic and advanced parametric design technologies that can be used to understand complex architectural geometry, identify appropriate building parameters, understand parametric design algorithms, and use computer visual programming and scripting to implement their parametric design prototypes.
The objectives of this course will be pursued by means of theoretical lectures, readings, practical exercises, and projects that address a given set of instructional targets.

Course Topics

The course will include the following components:
  • Architectural geometry
  • Parametric equations and models
  • Visual programming
  • Scripting
  • Constraints, Rules, and Algorithms
  • Parametric modeling in BIM
  • Parametric simulation
  • Applications

A timetable can be found in Lectures link on the left navigation area. The timetable may change in response to unforeseen pedagogic or logistic factors.

Performance Evaluation and Attendance to Classes

Grading will be based on performance on a set of quizzes, homework assignments, projects, and class participation using the following percentage distribution:

Quizzes: 8%
Class Participation: 4%
Projects (including Homework assignments): 88%

The final grade will be given by a letter based on weighted average points. Points and letters will be given by the following evaluation:

Letter grade Point grade (max 100) Quality of work
A points>=90 Exceptional work, above standards
B 90>points>=80 Satisfactory work, meet standards
C 80>points>=70 Unsatisfactory work, below standards
D 70>points>=60 Deficient work
F points<60 Failure, course needs to be repeated

Assessment grading will be based on the quality of the final product (defined as the relationship between assignment objectives and results), the quality of the procedural narratives (description of the procedure used during the assignment), workload, and class participation.

Requirements of assignments, assignment weights, and due days can be found in Assignments link on the left navigation area.

Please note:

  • All assignments should be individually developed, except those noted as "team" assignments.
  • Assignments normally due weekly.
  • Homework assignments during a project period will consist part of the project grade.
  • A project is given 90/100 as a basis for “Satisfactory work, meet standards”. Based on project requirements, errors will cause reduction of points and extra/exceptional work is awarded with extra points.
  • Except in the event of a University excused absence, late submissions will be penalized 5 points for each 24 hour period late.
  • The University views class attendance as the responsibility of an individual student. Attendance is essential to complete the course successfully. University rules related to excused and unexcused absences are located on-line at http://student-rules.tamu.edu/rule07.
  • The class participation grade is the instructor's subjective judgment of student performance. He will take into account such things as attendance and preparation for class as evidenced by informed classroom discussion.

How to Learn in This Class

Focus on the application tutorials, homework, and projects. Learn the theories behind the applications. Don't miss any tutorials or any part of a tutorial. All tutorials are important for completing the projects. The tutorials are designed not only to let you master the fundamental knowledge of computer applications, but also to introduce you systematic methods of design computing and Parametric Modeling.

Attendance Policy

Attendance will be examined and will be part of the Class Participation score.

See Student Rule 7 for details (http://student-rules.tamu.edu/rule07). The fact that these are university-excused absences does not relieve the student of responsibility for prior notification and documentation. Failure to notify and/or document properly may result in an unexcused absence. Falsification of documentation is a violation of the Honor Code.

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities. Texas A&M University is committed to providing an environment of academic study and employment free from harassment and discrimination to all segments of its community, including faculty, staff, students, guests, and vendors. Texas A&M University will promptly address all complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and related retaliation in accordance with federal and state laws. Any employee who experiences observes or becomes aware of an act of discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, or related retaliation must promptly report the incident to Texas A&M University’s Title IX Coordinator. More information on Title IX and reporting of these issues can be found at https://urc.tamu.edu/title-ix/.

Safe Learning Environment and Anti-Harassment Policy

As an instructor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment for my students and for the campus as a whole.  We expect a culture of professionalism and mutual respect in our department and class.  You may report any incident of discrimination or discriminatory harassment, including sexual harassment, to the Office of the Dean of Student Life. Please be aware that as a faculty member, I have the responsibility to report any instances of sexual harassment, sexual violence and/or other forms of prohibited discrimination.  If you would rather share information about sexual harassment or sexual violence to a confidential employee who does not have this reporting responsibility, please contact the Office of the Dean of Student Life.

Mental Health and Counseling

We are here for your success in school, and that goes beyond grades. Please know that staff at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS, https://caps.tamu.edu/) are available to provide those tools or help connect you to other offices or community resources that would be the best fit for your unique situation.   The University Advancement Fee covers the majority of services at CAPS.  Please reach out before you feel overwhelmed or get behind in your studies.

If you or someone you know is ever in a crisis situation, CAPS has crisis counselors available.
M-F 8:00-5:00 Call 979-845-4427 or visit CAPS at White Creek (Bus Route 03 “Yell Practice”)
After business hours and on weekends, call the Helpline at 979-845-2700 (V/TTY).

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact Disability Services, currently located in the Disability Services building at the Student Services at White Creek complex on west campus or call 979-845-1637. For additional information, visit http://disability.tamu.edu.

Academic Integrity

The TAMU student rules (http://student-rules.tamu.edu/), Part I Rule 20 (about Academic Misconduct) will be strictly enforced.

For individual work, students should not provide to other students any kind of personal digital file related to the development of the assignments. Drawing, modeling, animation files (.rvt, .rfa, dxf, .mdb, .accdb, dwg, .dwf, .psd, .jpg, .gif, .avi, etc) among others, that are created in the context of the class are personal property and should not be shared with other students of the same section or among sections. Plagiarism applies to all kinds of digital files and to all related content (i.e. models, images, drawings, the narrative of the procedure for an assignment, etc). You are committing plagiarism if you use or copy the work of another person and turn it as your own, even if you have permission of that person.

An indicator of appropriate help you may receive is that the help really helps you learn - when you complete the homework/project you can redo it without any help.

Transfer of homework/project models, source code and resulting product files is not allowed. Sharing of model templates that are not provided by the instructor is not allowed. Individual assignment must be completed individually.

Modeling projects may contain families from other resources, but appropriate references and credits must be given in the documentation AND blogs.


“An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do.”

Upon accepting admission to Texas A&M University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Honor System. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the Texas A&M University community from the requirements or the processes of the Honor System. For additional information please visit http://aggiehonor.tamu.edu/ . On course work, assignments, and examinations at Texas A&M University, you may be asked to sign the following Honor Pledge:
“On my honor, as an Aggie, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work.”

For additional information please visit: http://aggiehonor.tamu.edu/

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