Architecture students use a lot of software in design projects during their study at the TU Delft. Some example fields are:

  • modelling and prototyping designs;
  • presenting and simulating models, audio-visually and interactively;
  • parametric modelling and scripting for generation and simulation;
  • data, information and knowledge processing (“intelligent modelling”).

To present BSc students with a solid base concerning the use of ICT within the architectural domain, the Design Informatics chair of the Faculty of Architecture offers several course materials, tutorials and software documentation related to the application of ICT in Architecture, Design and education for free via the digital repository of TOI-Pedia. TU Delft OpenCourseWare presents links to these constantly updated tutorials. We do not provide the software or licenses to the software though; you can obtain the software through the appropriate channels.

Check out Architecture Software on TOI-Pedia

Design and shape the world around you with the powerful, flexible features found in AutoCAD design and documentation software, one of the world’s leading 2D and 3D CAD tools. Useful for architecture students to create 2D architectural drawings that adhere to the NEN norms. TOI-Pedia provides an AutoCAD tutorial which is outlined below.

  • Introduction: Here the purpose of AutoCAD is treated shortly and some references are given concerning drawing norms.
  • User interface: In this section navigation in AutoCAD, selection of objects and the use of the command bar is treated.
  • Organisation: Here the use of layers and the general AutoCAD workflow is explained.
  • Drawing and model space: This section includes information on basic drawing tools and techniques.
  • Modifying: Tools to modify existing geometry (e.g. rotate, mirror, scale) are treated in this section.
  • Inserting objects: This section is still under construction.
  • Layouts and plotting: Here the process of getting your design printed is explained.
  • Troubleshooting: Some common issues and problems are treated shortly.
  • Tutorials: Links to other TOI-Pedia AutoCAD tutorials are given here.

Visit the TOI-Pedia AutoCAD site

  • Design, develop, and maintain standards-based websites and applications. Dreamweaver software empowers designers and developers to build standards-based websites with confidence. Design visually or directly in code. Architecture students can use Dreamweaver to create an online portfolio, or they can use it to build a website that documents a certain project. TOI-Pedia provides a Dreamweaver tutorial which is outlined below.
  • Site setup: This page describes the organisational side of web design. It treats the basic website structure and file management in Dreamweaver.
  • Text and links; In this section the use of various text formats is handled. It is also shown how to create links within a page, the website and to other web resources.
  • Adding images; Basic image formatting for the web is treated in this section. It includes explanations on image resolution, format and the use of thumbnails.
  • Using styles; The creation and use of CSS style sheets is treated here. CSS stylesheets define how a site looks and make it easy to apply a certain style to multiple elements without defining the style for each element individually.
  • Using layers: How to use layers (also called divs) to arrange the different elements on your webpage is explained on this page.
  • Using templates: Using templates makes it easy to keep a certain style across different webpages. In this section the creation, use and modification of templates is treated.
  • XHTML code: In this section it is explained how Dreamweaver can be used to edit HTML and CSS code directly.
  • Frames: Frames are used to divide a webpage visually. Here it is explained how to create and edit framesets.

Visit the TOI-Pedia Dreamweaver site

Create and deliver rich interactive content. Flash Professional software is the industry standard for interactive authoring and delivery of immersive experiences that present consistently across personal computers, mobile devices, and screens of virtually any size and resolution. Amongst other things Flash can be used by students to generate an animation to show and explain a design or product. It is also possible to create an interactive application that can be embedded in websites.
TOI-Pedia provides a Flash tutorial which is outlined below

  • About Adobe Flash: A short introduction on Adobe Flash is given here.
  • Tutorials: Links to two tutorials are given here. One tutorial treats the creation of a movie in Flash, the other (which is still under construction) handles the integration of Illustrator into Flash.
  • Guides: Here links are given to TOI-Pedia guides that introduce the use of Flash and Actionscript.
  • External guides: Some links to externally hosted tutorials and guides are shown here.
  • Why use Flash? Here the advantages and disadvantages of Flash with respect to HTML/CSS are treated.

For designers who are exploring new shapes using generative algorithms, Grasshopper is a graphical algorithm editor tightly integrated with Rhino’s 3-D modeling tools. Unlike RhinoScript, Grasshopper requires no knowledge of programming or scripting, but still allows designers to build form generators from the simple to the awe-inspiring. This is a great tool for architecture students as it enables them to explore different designs using Rhino quickly. TOI-Pedia provides a Grasshopper tutorial which is outlined below.

  • What is Grasshopper? In this short section Grasshopper is introduced.
  • Basic understanding of Grasshopper: Here a short introduction is given on the use of Grasshopper. The use of components is treated and links are given to more in-depth Grasshopper tutorials.
  • Getting started: This section treats the user interface of Grasshopper and also includes several tutorials that explain the use of Grasshopper with the help of concrete examples.
  • Recommended reading: This chapter includes several links to websites and blogs that are dedicated to the use of Grasshopper.

Create distinctive vector artwork for any project. Used by design professionals worldwide, Illustrator software provides precision and power with sophisticated drawing tools, expressive natural brushes and a host of time-savers. Architecture students may find Illustrator useful for, amongst other things, the creation of presentation posters and diagrams to explain their design. TOI-Pedia provides an Illustrator tutorial which is outlined below.

  • Introduction: A short introduction to Illustrator and the tutorial.
  • Pixels vs. vectors: In this section the difference between pixel and vector images is treated. Some examples are given to show the difference and how it is applicable during the design process.
  • Color mode: Here the difference between RGB and CMYK color mode is explained.
  • Graphical user interface: The different toolbars and interface elements of Illustrator are treated here shortly.
  • Navigation: In this section various ways of navigating around in Illustrator are presented, including some useful keyboard shortcuts.
  • The toolbox: In this section the most used tools are described.
  • Transform: Here the different transformation one can apply to an object, like moving, scaling and rotating, are shown and explained.
  • Smart guides: An explanation of Illustrator’s smart guides function. This feature enables you to draw with great precision.
  • Line appearance: Lines can have different looks (e.g. dashed, with an arrowhead) and this section explains the different ways in which a line can be formatted.
  • Layers: This section treats the use of the layers functionality to organise your work in Illustrator.

Design professional layouts for print and digital publishing Adobe InDesign software provides precise control over typography and built-in creative tools for designing, preflighting, and publishing documents for print, online, or to mobile devices. Architecture students can use InDesign to create their portfolio’s or to lay-out reports. TOI-Pedia provides an InDesign tutorial which is outlined below.

  • Introduction: An introduction to Adobe InDesign and the TOI-Pedia tutorial.
  • Basic concepts: The fundamental InDesign concepts are treated in this chapter. Subject including master pages, styles and text frame linking are explained.
  • Graphic user interface: In this section the InDesign interface is treated and the function of the different panels and toolbars is explained
  • New document: Steps to generate a new document and organise it are presented here.

Maya software offers artists an end-to-end creative workflow with comprehensive tools for 3D animation, modeling, simulation, visual effects, rendering, matchmoving, and compositing on a highly extensible production platform. It is one of the tools Architecture students can use to visualise their designs in 3D. TOI-Pedia provides a Maya tutorial which is outlined below.

  • Introduction: An introduction on what Maya is and how it can be used efficiently in the architectural world.
  • Maya theory: Here the history of computer aided design is treated and several examples of 3D models used in the architectural world are given.
  • Maya user interface: This section covers the Maya user interface, including a short subsection on user interface troubleshooting.
  • Organising your work: Here the Maya project organisation is explained with useful tips on how to start a new project, continue an existing one and how to manage files.
  • Modeling: This section includes information on how to model in Maya using polygons and NURBS.
  • Scripting: In this section the use of scripting is treated and links are given to resources about scripting with the Maya Embedded Language (MEL).
  • Animating: This part of the tutorial shows how you can make a basic animation. This section also includes a part about character animation.
  • Materials and textures: This section includes information on shaders, textures, texture mapping and the texture editor. Also some links are given to other TOI-Pedia tutorials that treat Maya textures.
  • Cameras: Here the use of Maya cameras is explained, including a description of camera types and attributes.
  • Lighting and rendering: This section contains information on rendering theory, the use of light in your scene and also treats different render engines.
  • Data exchange: In this section different methods of importing and exporting your data between Maya and other software packages are treated.
  • Troubleshooting: Here it is explained how to solve problems that may be encountered during the use of Maya.

Visit the TOI-Pedia Maya site

Create powerful images with the professional standard. Photoshop software redefines digital imaging with powerful new photography tools and breakthrough capabilities for complex image selections, realistic painting, and intelligent retouching. Architecture students can use Photoshop for example to enhance their 3D renders and to clean up scanned hand drawn sketches. TOI-Pedia provides a Photoshop tutorial which is outlined below.

  • Introduction: The subject of vector vs. raster images, colour modes and resolution are treated in this chapter.
  • Interface: The Photoshop window is treated and the basic interface elements are pointed out.
  • Getting started: This chapter contains an explanation on how to open, create and save Photoshop documents.
  • The toolbox: In this section the most used tools are described.
  • Editing images: Photoshop’s powerful image editing features are treated. Amongst other subjects image adjustments, image filters and layers are discussed.
  • Troubleshooting: Some common issues and problems are treated shortly.
  • Further reading: References are presented to other Photoshop study material that can be found on the TOI-Pedia site.

Visit the TOI-Pedia Photoshop site

Bring high-performance editing to next-generation storytelling. Premiere Pro software offers breakthrough performance for video production. Work natively with the video formats you want and accelerate production from scriptwriting to editing, encoding, and final delivery. Premiere Pro comes in useful for Architecture students who want to promote or document their work through video. TOI-Pedia provides a Premiere Pro video tutorial which is outlined below.

  •  Introduction, interface and importing: The basic usage of Premiere Pro is treated in this video, including the user interface of Premiere Pro and an explanation on how to import and organise footage.
  • Movie editing: Basic movie editing techniques are treated in this video, including cutting, key-framing and the use of additional soundtracks.
  • Exporting: This video treats the different export settings that can be altered.

Visit the TOI-Pedia Premiere Pro site

Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to create images, animations, and interactions. Initially developed to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context, Processing also has evolved into a tool for generating finished professional work. Architecture students can use Processing to showcase their designs in an interactive way or experiment easily with scripting. TOI-Pedia presents several Processing learning resources.

Purpose-built for building information modeling (BIM), Revit Architecture helps architects and designers capture and analyze early concepts, and then better maintain designs through documentation and construction. Enjoy a more collaborative, integrated building design process and use BIM workflows to help drive more efficient sustainable design analysis and more. Architecture students can use Revit Architecture during the whole process of designing and visualising a building. TOI-Pedia provides a Revit Architecture tutorial which is outlined below.

  • Interface: Here the Revit interface and navigation is treated.
  • Tools: This section treats the different drawing, modifying and measuring tools present in Revit.
  • Views: Here it is explained how to generate different views in Revit to clarify a design.
  • Project setup: In this section it is explained how to setup a Revit project such that work can be done effectively.
  • Modelling: In this section the drawing of basic elements, openings and stairs is treated.
  • Types: This section introduces the use of Revit types. Types make it easier to create a high level of detail.
  • Building Information Modelling: This section explains the BIM design approach and treats how it can be used during the design phase.
  • Links: Here links are given to other useful Revit Architecture resources.

Visit the TOI-Pedia Revit Architecture site

Rhino can create, edit, analyze, document, render, animate, and translate NURBS curves, surfaces, and solids with no limits on complexity, degree, or size. Rhino also supports polygon meshes and point clouds. Architechture students can use Rhino to make fought 3D models of their designs which later on can be refined. TOI-Pedia provides a Rhino tutorial which is outlined below.

  • Introduction: Here the interface, navigation and the use of modeling aids in Rhino is treated.
  • Modelling: This section treats curve based modelling, solid modelling and surface editing. It also includes a step-by-step guide for modelling Corbusier’s Villa Savoye in Rhino.
  • Rapid prototyping: Here the use of Rhino in combination with a computer controlled milling machine is treated.
  • File exchange: Here the export and import capabilities of Rhino are treated.
  • Visualisation: This section explains shortly that 2D vector drawings can be exported from Illustrator. The section appears to be under construction.
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