Course syllabus


ARK442 ARK442 Design and communication tools lp3 VT23 (4.5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering Master's Programme in Architecture and Urban Design

Contact details

Jonas Lundberg (Examiner, Supervisor)
Kengo Skorick (Supervisor)
Jonas Runberger (Critic)

Course purpose

Design & Communication Tools furthers the students' knowledge in architectural and urban design by means of representation, prototypes and/or virtual or material processes. It introduces specific techniques and methods within an accompanying field of research or discourse. It trains the students' ability to design and analyze through an iterative and explorative process. It explores the development of new media technology and representation techniques in order to investigate how these new opportunities may influence the design and production of architecture of the present or near future.

This year’s edition of the course is focusing on multi-disciplinary design using AI text prompt image generation, found digital models, 3D scans, VR and video narration and production. First, it explores downloadable architecture and 3D scanning as a starting point for multi-disciplinary design. The design studies starts from an analysis of the Piranesi’s Imaginary Prisons etchings and then in small teams designs exhibiting the same qualities of the sublime and the uncanny are created through first person collaborative design. The focus is on how transitions between design mediums, between digital and analogue, pixel and vector, representation and use of extended reality, moving images and narration unlock opportunities for design and representation.

Design and drawing studies are developed by cycling through a range of different soft-ware, mediums and machines with differing logics. The course uses photogrammetry (Autodesk ReCap), mesh and nurbs modeling as well as drawing and image mapping (Rhino and Grasshopper), Image and vector processing (Photoshop and Illustrator) as well as Virtual Reality (Twinmotion/Unreal).

The course aims at expanding the expertise and skills with current approaches to digital media, representation and the design of urban spaces within architecture. Furthermore, the aim is to develop the historical, theoretical and methodological underpinnings of the role and use of emergent media and representation in contemporary practice.




16/1 (M), 10:00~12:00 (ARK442 studio space level 5, Samhällsbyggnad 1)
Zoom (link) Passcode: D&CT (by prior arrangement only)


20/1 (F), 13.15-17.00

27/1 (F), 13.15-17.00

3/2 (F), 13.15-17.00

Main tutorial days

17/1 (T), 9.00 -17.00

24/1 (T), 9.00 -17.00

31/1 (T), 9.00 -17 .00

For a full time table for all scheduled hours when you are expected to be attending and working at Chalmers

See Time Edit ARK442 Design & Communication Tools

Course literature

Rowe, Colin, and Robert Slutzky. 1971. “Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal"
Bricken, Meredith. 1991. “Virtual Reality” Learning Environments
Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto, “Intensive and Extensive” and “Geometry and Matter”, in Atlas of Novel Tectonics (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006)
Girón, Javier ”Drawing and Construction Analysis: from Piranesi to Choisy”
Farinella, Cristian, and Greco, Lorena, Proceedings: ”Dynamically Sublime, Vision, and Image in Architecture; The Relationship between 3D Graphics and Physiology of Vision in the Construction of Rendering Images”
Testa, Peter, “Autonomous Translations,” in Fabrication and Fabrication (Los Angeles: SCI-Arc Press, 2014).


Course design

The course is based on Studio Based Learning (SBL) related to group and individually based project work. The design of the course aims to facilitate for intendent learning and  for the transformation of tacit knowledge into technical and design skills and abilities. Most course content material is made available as self study material and the tutorial time is spent on application, discussion, tutorials and technical support.

The course is structured around three weeklong assignments that introduce techniques and working methodologies. All the information surrounding the course is found here on Canvas and please check the page on a daily basis. All communication with the tutors should primarily be sent using Canvas. Student teams choose a starting point for their process by 3D scanning artefacts and search for digital geometries on-line. The second week is spent on the analysis of Piranesi's Imaginary Prison etchings leading up to the 1st person multi-authored design if space exhibiting similar characteristics using Minecraft. The final assignment and week is spent on the development of digital geometry and forms of representation using extended reality and the use of narration and moving images.

The course has three main weekly assignments and the session are mixed between tutorials, demos and self study guides accompanied by a text seminar where students read, present and discuss theory texts that interrogate the current issues of representation, aesthetics, imagery, drawings, technology, etc. The course ends with a final review with invited guests, and a possible exhibition. In order to learn new techniques it is paramount to practice what has been shown in demonstrations on your own. 


+  Artificial Image Generation
+  3D Scanning, Photogrammetry (Autodesk ReCap)
+  3D Modeling (McNeel Rhinoceros)
+  Parametric Design (McNeel Grasshopper)
+  Raster Editing (Adobe Photoshop)
+  Vector Editing (Adobe Illustrator)
+  VR (Twinmotion/Unreal)

+  Minecraft Java Edition (to be acquired by each student individually instead of any literature and other materials)

It is possible to work using the University computers but due to the current COVID situation and if you would prefer to work from home it is important to have access to a computer that you can install Rhino, Twinmotion and Minecraft Java Edition on.

The course is concluded with a final review, a group and an individual submission. Should you not be able to complete the coursework. You can complete to pass at a later date to be agreed with your examiner.


Changes made since the last occasion


No changes has been made to the module since the last occasion.


Learning objectives and syllabus


Knowledge & Understanding

+  Demonstrate a deepened understanding of digital as well as analogue methods, techniques and processes required to handle complex design issues within the field of architecture and urban design.
+  Conceive, analyze and/or realize architectural ideas through representations, prototypes and/or digital or material processes.

Abilities & Skills

+  Make advanced use of design media (e.g. drawings, diagrams, mapping, geometry, models, mock-ups, video, virtual reality, 3d-scanning, etc.) in order to inform and drive their design process.
+  Use the above in order to develop a design project of limited scope.
+  Analyze and communicate their designs through various modes of representation.
+  Appropriately devise refined types of representation to highlight specific conceptual issues and/or sensory qualities.


Ability to Assess & Attitude

+  Promote the value (and joy!) of refined means of representation and prototyping in architecture.
+  Critically relate their own work in the course to a larger issue or question of representation in architecture, as outlined in the course description.


See Studieportalen  (Links to an external site.)
Version A (22/01/01)


Examination form

Student projects will be presented verbally, graphically and digitally according to requirements in the assignments (e.g. drawings, models, media, text) outlined in the course description and assessed in a final review with invited guests at Chalmers Department of Architecture. Each student project is further reviewed after submission of a group submission and individual illustrated course diary. A minimum of 80% active attendance / participation in lectures, pin-ups, demos and visits is required in order to pass the course.