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Structured into three semesters

Trimester 1 (T1)




T1 is designed as an “introduction” into the program, and  provides an intensive skills-building bootcamp format featuring full-time lectures and tutorials supported by a team of researchers. The curriculum is strategically designed to prioritize the rapid acquisition of digital skills, with primariy focus on Python programming and robotic control.




In T1, the teaching method revolves around small design projects that encourage active and iterative skill application. This “learning-by-doing” approach facilitates a swift immersion into the digital mindset, language, and design philosophy that are integral to our school’s culture.



By the end of T1, you will:


  • understand and apply digital tools and processes for digital design and fabrication;

  • have skills in coding, robotic control, and 3D printing;

  • be able to work in teams of 3 to 4 on computational design projects;

  • become familiarized with the digital culture of the program;

  • define your personal learning journey and skills development focus for the year.

Trimester 2 (T2)




In T2, we advance:  students are tasked with applying their T1 skillset to a larger and more intricate architectural project, which is executed to a 1:1 scale. The primary objective here is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the cross disciplinary technological aspects embedded in these new architectural projects.




In T2, the central teaching approach is a collaborative project in which students work together throughout the entire digital design-to-fabrication process. This project concludes with the creation of “demonstrators” designed to test the project in architectural scale. Often exhibited for a larger audience.



By the end of T2, you will


  • have advanced in your computational skills (individual and group);

  • understand the challenges of full scale prototyping

  • develop cross-disciplinary project management and coordination skills;

  • develop skills in group presentation and documentation of a complex digital project;

  • further refine your personal  learning and development plan for the remainder of the program.

Trimester  3 (T3)




The final T3 focuses on tackling precise research questions proposed by PhD or Postdoc researchers. The process encompasses different stages, from formulating a research brief to conducting experiments, measuring and documenting scientif results and ultimately developing physical demonstrators.




Students undertake focused research projects, working individually or in pairs under the guidance of assigned researchers. Projects adhere to rigorous scientific research methods and culminate in the creation of a large-scale demonstrator. Research findings are  presented to expert  jury.




By the end of T3, you will:


  • be able to develop individual computational strategies;

  • have in-depth computational tools, and understand fabrication technologies as well as material processes;

  • perfect your  project management for digital fabrication skills;

  • perfect your documentation and presentation skills;

  • develop skills on scientific writing;

  • gain in-depth understanding of a specific digital fabrication topic.

mas eth dfab students at work

Design in Progress



Group project meeting inside ITA.




Customized computation allow for agile design and analysis. Here, structural

challenges of this light weight structure are being reviewed with the design team and integrated into the design workflow.


Photo: Digital Building Technologies

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