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Structural Simulation for Architects: An Introduction to Structural Thinking for Design Students

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    Teaching structural design to architecture students is a bit like teaching a bowling ball to float. Both design students and bowling balls require a change in their core states to be successful in their relative tasks. Visual thinkers, like most architects, struggle with the analysis and calculation process of structural design. As a result, they rarely gain comfort with the iterative requirements of designing compelling structures that are additive to design expressions. By introducing architecture students to structural simulation in Autodesk® Revit® software, the learning process is modified to work with visual thinkers—developing a stronger connection to the design process and improved direct feedback (visual in nature) to the ramifications and potentials of design decisions. This class will outline the opportunities and pedagogy of structural simulation as a predesign effort and design development strategy in the architectural education studio course.

    Key Learnings

    • Describe modifications and enhancements that a simulation process can create in learning structural design
    • Understand read, and apply simulation data as part of a design process
    • Describe the process of modeling with the structural toolset in Revit
    • Use structural simulation tools in Revit