Course detail

Space and Light in Architecture

FA-PSAAcad. year: 2019/2020

This elective subject is focusing on the use of light in space creation. The hands-on-training is based on a model of practical forming of spatial forms from planar (flat) materials (cardboard, polypropylene etc.). Each student becomes subsequently acquainted with spatially coherent forms, methods of forming and geometrical representation. Students are also introduced to principles of parametric models creation and modification on spatial forms using SW Rhinoceros and Grasshopper plugin. Each student also creates a model in the end - an individually designed prototype with adjustable spatial geometry.


Department of Spatial Design (UPT)

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The output knowledge consists of an acquisition of basic processes of parametric modeling of stereotomous structures and verifying its properties and behavior on a physical paper model.


Previous completion of subjects KOV or ZAN (lead by Assoc.Prof. Palacky), knowledge of Origami and sensitive relationship to detail, knowledge of 3D software Rhinoceros, or other solid modelers, analytical thinking, knowledge of English to be able to participate in the discussion in one of the discussion forums.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

Aranda, B.: Tooling (Pamphlet Architecture) - Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. (EN)
Lynn, G.: Folding in Architecture (Architectural Design Profile) - John Wiley & Sons, 2004 (EN)
Vyzoviti, S.: Folding architecture: Spatial, Structural and Organizational Diagrams - BIS Publishers, 2004 (EN)
Vyzoviti, S.: Supersurfaces: Folding as a Form Generation Method in Architecture - BIS Publishers, 2006 (EN)
Lowther, C.: Bright: Architecural Illumination and Light Installations – Frame Publishers, 2008 (EN)
Moussavi, F.: The Function of Form - Actar and the Harward University Graduate School of Design, 2009 (EN)
Payne, A.: The Grasshopper Primer, Second edition – LIFT architects, 2009 (EN)
Pottmann, H.: Architectural Geometry – Bentley Institute Press, 2007 (EN)
Tedeschi A.: Parametric Architecture with Grasshopper – Primer, Le Penseur, 2011 (EN)
Brogan J.: Light in Architecture, AD - Architectural Design Profile, John Wiley Sons, 1997 (EN)
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Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures and presentations, seminars and individual consultations in the form of teaching assignments - individual assignment, individual consultation, E-Learning support. Teaching on computers.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

The conditions for granting credit are based on active learning and completion of individually assigned tasks. To obtain credit, it is necessary to submit the final project and submit it by the specified deadline.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.

Course curriculum

1. Introduction to planar construction materials / theoretical background to paper folding / Platonic solids
2. Grasshopper components / Function of form, surfaces, structures and vaults, precedent studies
3. Paper folding methodology
4. Individually designed component development
5. Grasshopper basics
6. Parametric model basics
7. Simulating growth and evolvement on a paper model
8. Deriving a spatial geometry from the paper model
9. Transfer of the proposal into parametrics
10. Modification of the 3D form
11. 3D geometry transfer into planar surface
12. Final paper model making
13. Light simulation, documentation of the finished model (photos, 2D&3D representation, description of the algorithm)
14. Presentation of the results


The first aim of the subject is a structive - tactile work with form, architectural space and light. The second aim is to get acquainted with the basics of parametric model making using Rhinoceros software and Grasshopper plugin.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Presence at lectures and seminars results from the duty to consult with the teacher about the seminar assignments.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme ARCHURB Bachelor's

    branch ARCH , 3. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, compulsory-optional

Type of course unit



26 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer