Analog Algorithmic Aesthetics

Daniela Kröhnert
Architecture, Digital Production
2024S, scientific seminar (SEW), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S03531


Digitally printed matter is often lacking the irregular, vivid and tactile qualities of analog drawings that are results of a plethora of parameters of the physical world and its materialities (i.a. bleeding or drying of the inkpen, smudges, scratches, humidity changes, etc.)
This course intends to give students the possibility to explore the vast potential for unique and individual expression, which is very constrained in modern processes (that allow for unlimited and exact copies).

The pen has always been an essential tool in the communication of architecture but has lost importance in the realm of digitalization. As a consequence the analog production of drawings has also lost significance and especially presentation drawings are nowadays primarily digital renderings, which get printed fast and efficiently with laser or inkjet printers. Although digitalization has undeniably brought a lot of positive advantages to the architectural production, the loss of the analog drawing also left behind these gaps that could not or only partly be filled by digital media.

This undertaking is an attempt to use the analog drawing as a platform for experimentation and to interweave the best of the digital and analog worlds.

Over the course of the semester students will get a brief overview of the history of computer arts and computational drawing from its beginnings in the 1960s to contemporary works with an emphasis on algorithmic programming and its physical manifestation through CNC (drawing) machinery.

Examination Modalities

During weekly sessions we will develop several small Grasshopper definitions based on artworks of the past. In between the sessions students are asked to bring these into the physical world.
The course is under continuous assessment (at least 80% presence at the mandatory sessions is required to pass).
Additionally to the weekly experimentations, each student will produce one final pen-drawing/artwork to be presented during a Vernissage at the end of the semester. 


This course is specifically addressed to students with a background in Architecture and will focus on object oriented programming (Grasshopper -> no pre-knowledge required) and intends to hack/make use of the available machinery of the DDPLab. 
Profound knowledge of the  3D-modelling Software Rhinoceros is required and all participants should be able to work independently on a high level between the sessions.
Curiosity is mandatory.

max. 15 participants  (individual work is encouraged, but teamwork is possible if preferred, priority is given to students of architecture, who did not yet participate in the course. )

Participants are kindly asked to use their own Laptops and Software.

Key Words

Digitale Produktion, Digital Production, Computational Drawing, Grasshopper3d, CNC, CAD/CAM, computer graphics


14 March 2024, 10:45–12:15 Seminar Room 9 , "kick-off (mandatory)" (preliminary discussion)
21 March 2024, 10:45–12:15 Seminar Room 9
11 April 2024, 10:45–12:15 Seminar Room 9
18 April 2024, 10:45–12:15 Seminar Room 9
25 April 2024, 10:45–12:15 Seminar Room 9
02 May 2024, 10:45–13:15 Seminar Room 9 , "Midterm Session or Field Trip"
16 May 2024, 10:45–13:15 Seminar Room 9 , "Midterm Session or Field Trip"
23 May 2024, 10:45–12:15 Seminar Room 9
25 June 2024, 10:00–16:00, "Submission of digital data and hand-in of final drawing" (examination)
26 June 2024, 10:00–29 June 2024, 20:00, "Exhibition (in the course of the Angewandte Festival)"

Course Enrolment

From 01 February 2024, 10:00 to 29 February 2024, 18:00
Via online registration

Architecture (Master): Expertise: Instrumentarium: Supplementary Subjects 443/004.99

Co-registration: possible

Attending individual courses: possible