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Optima 01+ Workshop

Optima 01+ Workshop


Optima +

Think, analyze, design, optimize, compete and fabricate

International workshop and competition, September 2014 


Phase one:    Cairo           01 – 05 September 2014

Phase two :   Barcelona   27 – 31  October  2014


NOUMENA & ALGORITM organize an international competitive workshop that will take place in both Cairo- Egypt and Barcelona – Spain where you’ll explore innovative design and fabrication strategies (Advanced Architecture, Parametric Design, NURBS Modeling , Optimization, and Fabrication).

THE COMPETITION will run between the workshop participants. it is divided  into 2 main phases.

Travelling to Cairo

Phase 1: starts the 1st of September in Cairo (think, design, compete, and prototype)

–  participants will get lectures and tutorial on parametric design, modeling

–   participants will be divided into groups and start an internal competition.

–  each group will propose their optimized parametric pavilions fabricated in small scale

–  a selected jury will choose the best two pavilions  as primary winners

Travelling to Barcelona

Phase 2:  starts the 14th of September in Barcelona (Adv. optimize, finalize, fabricate, and win)

–  all participants will get advanced lectures and tutorial on algorithms and optimizations

–  participants will get experiences on big scale fabrication

–  the 2 pavilions will be fabricated in big scale by all participants

–  final Jury will choose only one pavilion to win the competition.


LIMITED SEATS (only 25 SEAT). every participant must submit his CV, portfolio, and statement of interest to the organizers by email:   and   In case of acceptance we will contact the participant to continue registration.

 Submission deadline is 15/8/2014.     Participants’ selections : 18/8/2014

Workshop and competition  fees :   600 Euro





Duration:  The workshop, in total, will run for 80 hours / 10 days excluding breaks. 5 days at Algoritm in Cairo and 5 days at NOUMENA in Barcelona. It will be divided to two main phases include three topics, parametric design , optimization, fabrication.

(From 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM)

The competition will run parallel with the workshop


day_01 – Introduction to NURBS modeling with  Rhino 3d

–  Group divisions and projects’ assignments

day_02 – parametric modeling tutorials with grasshopper 3d

– lecture on algorithms and design inspirations

–  groups will work on the project

day_03 – more on  grasshopper 3d modeling

_ parametric design  thinking and algorithmic architecture

–  introduction on fabrications

– Competitions work in progress


– Introduction on optimization with grasshopper (Galapagos and goat plugin)

– preparing projects to fabrication


_ finalize projects and group presentations

_ primary jury will choose 2 projects  as primary winners


PHASE 2 SCHEDULE   @ Barcelona  

day_06 – introduction to 2nd competition phase

– lectures and tutorials on Envelope pattern optimizations

for  lighting and environmental aspects

– lectures and tutorial on algorithms and optimizations

day_07 – preparing to fabrication

_ big scale fabrication methods and techniques (tutorial and lecture)

_ participants will get experiences on big scale fabrications

day_08 – Digital fabrication.

– Preparing particles fabricated parts, members and joints for physical models.

Day_09 – Finalizing  fabrication.

– finalizing groups’ Models and final presentation

– adding final features to the physical models

Day_10 – Discussion, final Jury, and Conclusion, and presenting competition winners


Optima 01+

Think, analyze, design, optimize, compete and fabricate


“Technology is the answer. But what was the question?” (Cedric Price, 2007).

In general, technology provides strong capabilities to change life mechanism and the way we act, think, communicate and interact in real life.

The goal of the workshop is to provide participants with a new paradigm in architecture, parametric design processes, and make them able to gain practical experience on future trends of computational architecture, Algorithmic  analysis, design optimization and digital fabrication . As they merge the fields of art, architecture, engineering, sustainability and technology.

In this workshop you’ll learn how to think as a designer, analyzer, optimizer, and fabricator. We will explore 3D NURBS modeling techniques, Building Performance Simulation (BPS), parametric design, sustainable optimization, and fabrication.

Participants will learn how to prepare their designs to be analyzed and optimized parametrically , and fabricated by using laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC and relevant technologies.


–       NURBS modeling.

  • Rhinoceros 3D

–    Parametric modeling

  • Grasshopper 3d
  • Design Algorithms

–       Optimization

  • Galapagos genetic algorithm
  • Goat  plugin for grasshopper
  • Octopus plugin for Grasshopper

–       Fabrication.

  • Paneling tools.
  • Nesting.
  • Rhino CAM.
  • Autodesk 123D catch


The workshop allows participants to develop skills on computational parametric design. According to the parametric design strategy, the building form should not be superimposed. and an overview of building science and control techniques will be provided to link form and performance. Participants will also gain insight on what computer tools are available in practice to assess various measures during the design process of built environments.

The computational approach enables designers and architects to overcome the imposition of a prefixed form in order to enhance performance-driven design. Lectures on parametric design simulation as well as optimization, analyzing and digital fabrication prototyping,  are integrated into the workshop, divided into four main parts:

A- Tooling

Initially, the workshop introduces parametric modeling and design to participants, built the necessary skills for addressing the technical challenges of using analytical to inform design strategies in form generation.

B- Form Generative Strategies

Form behavior, analyzing and form finding design strategies, response to architectural, urban and environmental contexts. Further, material system behaviors have been digitally translated into parametric models.

C- Optimization.

applying practically through a hands-on experience in using cutting-edge simulation tools that will equip architects with metrics that support the design of project in surrounding spaces.

D- Fabrication and prototyping.

The participants will learn how to prepare their designs to be fabricated by using laser cutter, 3d printer, CNC and related technologies.


Participants from the beginning of the workshop will be divided into groups to compete on a case project increasing their ability to define project parameters, design factors, solving problems, understanding factors relationships.

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