Parametric Design and Optimization


Stanford School of Engineering



Parametric design is the most widely used modeling process in contemporary architecture and design. This course explores the techniques and tools used in parametric modeling and computational design as a foundation for design optimization. Class sessions will introduce several parametric design modeling platforms and scripting environments that enable rapid generation of 3D models and enable rapid evaluation of parametrically-driven design alternatives.

Taking this course for 3 or 4 units will require additional project work. Please note that Non-Degree Option (NDO) students must take a minimum of 3 units per quarter.


Topics include

  • Principles of parametric design versus direct modeling
  • Design exploration using parametric modeling platforms such as Revit/FormIt and Rhino
  • Visual scripting languages and environments such as Dynamo, Grasshopper and DesignScript
  • Single and multi-dimensional optimization techniques and guidance strategies

Note on Course Availability

The course schedule is displayed for planning purposes – courses can be modified, changed, or cancelled. Course availability will be considered finalized on the first day of open enrollment. For quarterly enrollment dates, please refer to our graduate certificate homepage.