(image credits: COSTINATOR app concept by Nicole Klumb and Maximilian Pfaff)


One of the most basic tasks for an architect is floor plan design. Imagine you have thousands of design options for the same house represented as floor plans. Which criteria can you use to sort them? Is there a “best” one? How can we empower an architect to choose one of thousand options for their clients? And most importantly, how could we empower the home owner to choose one design for their house?

The course “A Thousand Floor Plans” looked at techniques to compare and sort thousands of variations of residential floor plans for the same design brief. The course explores apps and app making as a potential new task for the architect searching how to stay relevant in a society with an information overload.

Each team of students was asked to sort a large set of floor plans based on one of the following features: views, energy, daylight, orientation, water, costs and time, spatial organisation, etc. They developed a Grasshopper tool for architects to navigate the set of designs.

(video credits: VIEWSPOTS Grasshopper definition by Anjuscha Helbig and Philipp Vehrenberg)

Students also created a graphical concept for a mobile app targeted at homeowners wanting to browse through thousands of floor plans. The main challenge was to consider strategies for translating the numerical results of an analysis routine into experiences from daily life which the home owners can relate to. For example: “having a sun spot on the breakfast table with my morning coffee in the kitchen.”

app concept chaselight
(image credits: CHASELIGHT app concept by Mariona Carrion, Morgane Hamel and Louise Hamot)

Each team conducted a survey with homeowners to narrow down the focus on the most important aspects to analyse. Download the survey in English or in German.

(image credits: DDU)

Students learned basic concepts of computational analysis and how to implement them in Grasshopper. At the end of the semester, students delivered:

  • a digital analysis routine implemented in Grasshopper;
  • a 2 minute video explaining how to use the Grasshopper definition;
  • and a booklet documenting the analysis and the mobile app concept.

See the projects results from the course:

  1. CHASELIGHT by Mariona Carrion, Morgane Hamel and Louise Hamot
  2. COSY HOME by Jörg Hartmann, Stefanie Joachim and Max Sand
  3. ENERGETIC ASSESSMENT by Luisa Ruffertshöfer, Marc Ritz and Gerrit Walser
  4. SAVING MONEY by Ana Sophie Sánchez Wurm and Ana Baraibar Jiménez
  5. COSTINATOR by Nicole Klumb and Maximilian Pfaff
  6. VIEWSPOTS by Anjuscha Helbig and Philipp Vehrenberg
  7. YOUR PERSONAL VIEW by Natascha Damaske and Dina El Gindi
  8. CUSTOM FLAT by Zhiyin Lu and Mengxue Wang


Course dates: Winter Semester 2016/2017

Course lead by:

Anton Savov


Roger Winkler

Felix Dannecker