July 2022 / Elective course summer semester 2022

The HYTAC Elective Course from summer semester 2022 offered students the opportunity to explore alternative ways to approach a context analysis. While learning basic principles behind photogrammetry and 3D-printing, students could develop their own design and implement new techniques into their personal architectural workflow.

With drone footage of Urmein, a village in the Canton of Graubünden in Switzerland, students were able create and process a point-cloud-generated context model in no time. CAD software was used to produce a 3D-printable site-model in architectural scale. 

Point-cloud-generated context, captured with drone on site
3D-printed site-model of Urmein, GR

After printing the site-model, students could use the newly learned skills to create their own design proposal for a given plot in Urmein. The following student projects show how volumetric analysis was integrated into the workflow to check and understand the impact of each design.

Volumetric analysis was used inside of the CAD software in a very abstract and timesaving way to enhance the workflow and understand the consequences of the design at the very beginning.

Study of section through whole site including the proposed design. Furthermore, a volumetric study with a 3D-printed part was conducted

Placing the design into the point-cloud-generated model to discuss the use of materials and how they interact with the rest of the village.

July 2022 / Collaboration with Professor Andrea Deplazes and IDC AG

Film – El Poblenou

During the Spring Semester 2022, specifically during the seminar week, the 300 first-year architecture students globalised and then 3D printed a model of the El Poblenou neighbourhood in Barcelona.
This was done in the context of Professor Andrea Deplazes’ “Entwurf & Konstruktion” course.

During their semester, the students analysed this neighbourhood and designed a plot, so that they could live and work there.
This 1:200 scale model allowed them to better represent the context in which they had to design, not only by digital means.
To model, they used the cadastral plan as well as satellite and 3D images available on the net. These resources, as well as 3D printing, make it possible to obtain a model with a very high level of detail.

Thanks to the collaboration with IDC AG, the students were able to work simultaneously on the same Archi-CAD file using the BIM-Cloud. This also allowed them to familiarise themselves with Archi-CAD by having access to the student version provided by IDC AG.

Here is the video presentation of this incredible project:

Seminar Week – FS22

El Pobleou Model

During the seminar week in March 2022, the 300 first-year architecture students worked together to complete the 1:200 scale model of the El Poblenou district in Barcelona.
The students were divided into groups of 2 to 4 people and assigned a plot of land. Using the cadastral plan and satellite images, they modelled their buildings in great detail. They were able to familiarise themselves with the Archi-CAD software, which is very useful in the field of architecture.
The 3D modelling and some of the printing had already been done in the HYTAC Basics FS22 course. During the week, they finished this work, while following daily workshops. They perfected their knowledge of the Prusa 3D printers and the Prusa-Slicer software.

This 14 by 5 metre model was intended to help them in their semester studio with Professor Andrea Deplazes, during which they had to design a neighbourhood in Poblenou.
The students worked together on a single Archi-Cad file thanks to the BIM-Cloud and the collaboration with IDC AG.


In 5 intensive days the students get to know better both the hardware and the software to successfully use 3D printing technology to generate a 3d printed site model. This basic workshop is part of the compulsory propaedeutic phase of the Course of Design and Construction I of the Chair of Professor Andrea Deplazes.

Structured with daily workshops and question rounds, the students are taught on a click by click basis to essentially understand the workflow and after, are left alone to use it in order to complete their respective tasks.

Seminar week – HS21

First 3D printing of the first year students

Using 3D modelling software, students discover the concept of space and use their imagination in a new way. 3D printers are then used to make this a reality. They acquired the basic notions of these technologies during their first weeks of study in the HYTAC Basics course. Then, they printed their first models with the Prusa 3D printers during the seminar week.

In early November 2021, a large exhibition with more than 300 works was on display in the entrance hall of the HIL.

Seminar Week – HS18

Hybrid Modelling

This semester, the exercise field stretches from the hardware by way of the context culminating in the object.
First, the students will be confronted with the mechanics of the 3D printers, their intellectual origins and the spirit of the global maker community.

This step is necessary so that the students may be able to care for the machines and troubleshoot any eventuality that may arise.
After the context, understood as the starting point for any architectural intervention, Hybrid Modelling takes advantage of the different modelmaking methods available to produce a “context model” in significantly less time.

Lastly: the object. Based on the hand sketch, the object is presented as an abstraction of any architecture project. Through a series of simple 3D modelling techniques, paper cutting tricks, and the use of dry modelling clay, the students are able to close a design circle that should allow for many iterations of a thoroughly studied object.

Seminar Week – FS18

First Contact with the new machines

The Department of Architecture decided to invest in a pilot initiative to allow 3d Printing to become part of the design process, so 100 3D Printers were donated by the Adrian Weiss Foundation.
This first seminar focused on supporting the 300 first year students in building the machines and teaching them how to operate them in 2 intensive days. Some of them were able to produce small projects.
The results prompted the Department and the Professor Deplazes to allow the initiative to continue as a Pilot Project, and simultaneously jump started the planning and building of the 3DLAB.


As a teaching Unit of the Department of Architecture, HYTAC also engages directly with Chairs that are interested in offering new technologies to their students. The Chairs have their pensum, content and objectives that are complemented by punctual special Workshops only for their students in a series of short input series specifically developed for those exercises.

This ensures their students access to the new 3DLab and the use of the machines 24/7.

Since soon all the Students at the Department will have had the basic training, the room to grow in tandem with the Chairs is very promising. HYTAC offers different applications for emerging technologies to be integrated to traditional practices, so it provides an excellent platform for the innovation of work and design processes.

Fall Semester 2021 – B. Dillenburger

During the first weeks of Professor Dillenburger’s “Computational Design I” course, architecture students learn the basics of visual programming with Grasshopper, in parallel with the Rhino3D software, which is also used in the Hytac course.

During the seminar week of the fall semester 2021, the students made one of their Grasshopper parameterised models, a column, concrete by 3D printing it.
This column was part of the work handed in at the end of the week.

In addition, the students were introduced to augmented reality, which can be used with everyone’s phone to see the column in 3D, virtually.

Digital Building Technologies

July 2022 / join the Hytac elective course

Enrolement open

Registration is now open for the Hytac elective course for the autumn semester 2022!
For more information, please see the course page or contact us.

It is a great opportunity to be part of this course, to learn new methods of analysis and modelling, and to start/improve your skills in 3D technology !

Register on myStudies.ch, course reference: 052-0549-22L