Spatial Computing in Architectural Design

The new generation of architects will be expected to improve the quality and the performance of existing and new buildings in face of new environmental, social and economic challenges, such as providing affordable quality houses at a mass scale. This often requires formulating and solving multi-disciplinary design and decision-making problems in a collaborative setting. However, the fundamental question is: “How do we know if our interventions or designs will yield better results?” In other words, can we model, analyse, simulate, and evaluate the functioning of buildings? How can we improve the sustainability, affordability, and quality of buildings in quantifiable ways, and validate our design assumptions? To effectively deal with complex multi-disciplinary problems, computational approaches need to be utilized to structure and/or automate analysis, synthesis & evaluation procedures required for optimization and systematic decision-making in the design process.

The minor Spatial Computing offers a set of courses providing the fundamentals of computing in spatial (geometrical, topological, and/or graph theoretical) design and decision-making. This minor consists of a computational design studio and a course on computational simulations, both of which cover the applied mathematics and computation topics necessary for algorithmic design, modelling, analysis, simulation, and evaluation of buildings.

Spatial Computing in Architectural Design is about formulating and solving spatial design problems in architecture. It involves developing computational procedures and models for the formulation of design requirements and rules, algorithmic generation of designs, analysis, simulation, and evaluation of building performance for design optimization of buildings. The aim is to logically deduce the design based on functional requirements and environmental considerations using generative design methods and collective intelligence.

For whom?

  • BSc students from TU Delft: BSc programme of Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences, Technology, Policy & Management, Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Civil Engineering, Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, Marine Technology, Aerospace Engineering and Applied Physics.
  • BSc students from Leiden University and Erasmus University: this minor is open to students from a few specific BSc programmes of Leiden University and Erasmus University. For the exact BSc programmes from Leiden University and Erasmus University with which you can apply for this minor please check
  • BSc students from other Dutch universities & BSc students from HBO: students interested in rational and collaborative approaches to design as well as mathematical/computational [geometric] modelling are encouraged to enrol. Prior knowledge of mathematics and computer science (basic Linear Algebra, Calculus, and Python programming) is appreciated but is not considered a prerequisite; eagerness for learning is more important. Interest in game development would be very relevant and appreciated.

What will you learn?

You will learn to systematically design and underpin the decisions made for designing a complex building project.


  • to formulate a program of requirements based on the needs of a client;
  • to use basic spatial mathematical constructs in architectural design and simulation;
  • to perform spatial data visualization using existing software tools or programming;
  • to distinguish and identify data modelling, analysis, simulation, evaluation and optimization methods;
  • to utilize simulation in architectural design;
  • to show by analytic models or simulations how a design is supposed to work;
  • to compare design or decision alternatives according to evaluation criteria; and,
  • to formulate design problems and draft algorithms for procedural design.

Course overview

The 15 ECs minor Spatial Computing consists of two courses and takes place in the second quarter. These courses introduce the essential mathematics and fundamentals of computing in spatial (geometrical, topological, and/or graph theoretical) algorithmic design, simulations, and evaluation in the context of a design challenge and a series of assignments. 

Both courses include lectures and hands-on [programming] workshops, group-study, and seminars. For the seminars, experts on specific topics will be invited to broaden the scope of students. Virtual Reality and Rapid-Prototyping facilities will be available for experimentation to all students on demand. The computational design studio will involve work on an architectural design challenge (urban housing) and practice design in groups.

  • Computational Design Studio (BK7083): 9 ECs
  • Computational Simulations (BK7084): 6 ECs
  • The minor Spatial Computing runs in Q2 (November-January) and amounts to 15 ECTS of educational workload. For the Q1(September-October) you can take a total of 15-16 ECTS Self-Composed Minor, next to other options mentioned on this website you can consider choosing from the following courses:

Course Code


Responsible Instructor





Linear Algebra

Dr. E Ensiz






Drs. I.A.M. Goddijn





Linear Algebra 1

Dr. J.A.M. de Groot




For course descriptions, please visit the study guide.

Contact: Dr. Pirouz Nourian

Contact Sevil Sariyildiz

Dr. Pirouz Nourian