The CCA Digital Craft Lab is pleased to announce FORMATIONS 2014, a series of software-based workshops for students and professionals taking place on Nov 1, 2014 at the CCA in San Francisco. FORMATIONS, an annual workshop series at the California College of the Arts, provides a platform for students and professionals in the design disciplines to explore new technologies in a hands-on workshop setting. Each year the focus of the event evolves to reflect emerging architectural research topics in relationship to new media.


Registration Page:


Date: Saturday, Nov 1, 2014
Time: 10:00am-5:00pm (9:30am Registration, 1-2pm lunch break)
Location: CCA San Francisco Campus (Hooper Graduate Center located at 184 Hooper St).
Eligibility: The workshops are open to all students, faculty and professionals in the design fields.

Cost: Each workshop costs $175 for Professionals; $120 for all other students / recent graduates (graduating in the last 12 months with a valid ID); $90 for CCA students, faculty and alumni. CCA students that are AIAS members will get an additional 10% discount.

Hardware and Software: Attendees must bring their own laptop to the workshop. For software requirements please see below.
AIAS Discount: CCA AIAS members will get an additional 10% off the ticket price. Please enter the code: “AIAS” at checkout!

F.A.Q’s: Please see the bottom of the page!



Intro to Parametric Modeling for Architect’s and Designers

This workshop provides a hands-on introduction to basic Grasshopper. Beginning with input and output, it will culminate with the use of an image to organize a flexible paneling system. Through a series of short tutorials, the workshop will cover: interface basics, referencing Rhino Geometry, getting objects and text out of Grasshopper, the primitive data types and geometry types used in Grasshopper, basic list management, and remapping quantities.

Skill Level: Beginner
Instructor: Andrei Hakhovich (bio) (link)
Details: Participants must bring a laptop running the latest version of Rhino 5 and the latest version of Grasshopper.



Intermediate Parametric Drawing & Diagramming

Although the use of parametric 3D models has become common, the use of parametric tools to produce evocative and engaging 2D representations has been less developed among architects, designers, and artists. Drawing tools like Revit, AutoCAD, Illustrator, and even Processing allow for varying degrees of parametric functionality, but they each come with their own biases and constraints that ultimately limit one’s ability to intuitively construct parametric representations. The parametric modeling software Grasshopper, together with plugins like Human, Shutterbug, and Lunchbox, offers a synthetic platform that provides parametric control, ability to manage complexity, and a highly intuitive graphic user interface. This workshop will investigate how these tools can be used in conjunction with Illustrator to produce diagrams, drawings, and other illustrative media that are complex, adaptable, and quick. The workshop is geared towards graphic designers, artists, architects, and anyone interested in exploring innovative methods of digital drawing.

Skill Level: Intermediate
Instructor: Adam Marcus (bio) (link)
Details: Knowledge of Rhino and Grasshopper is recommended. Software/hardware required: Laptop with latest release of Rhino 5.0 for Windows, latest version of Grasshopper (, and Adobe Illustrator CS6 or newer.



Intro to Physical Computing with Arduino

This workshop will cover the basics of physical computing centered around the Arduino micro-controller. Participants will be introduced to basic programming, various analog and digital sensing technologies (light, touch sensors, buttons, etc) and a range of actuators (LEDS, servos, dc motors and more). The workshop is open to interested beginners with a focus on students and professionals in architecture, art, design and other related fields. Arduino kits will and basic electronics tools and supplies witll be provided or participants may bring their own. Participants should also install the free Arduino software before the workshop.

Skill Level: Beginner
Instructor: Michael Shiloh (bio) (link)
Details: Participants must bring a laptop running the latest version of Arduino.



Intro to Architectural Visualization and Rendering

3d Studio Max with Vray is a leading software package used for architectural visualizations. Lectures and tutorials will focus on industry best practices, material sampling, natural and artificial simulations, and professional applications. Exercises will cover the use of renderings as design communication to clients and as tools for the architect in understanding his/her designs through an iterative visualization process. Over the seven hour session, participants will be led through a complete work flow, beginning with AutoCAD drawings and ending with compositing in Adobe Photoshop. In addition, topics such as view selection, framing, and composition will be covered.

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Instructor: Michelle Chang (bio) (link)
Details: Basic 3D Modeling knowledge is recommended. Participants must bring a laptop running the latest builds of Autodesk 3ds Max and Vray. More details coming soon.



Intro to BIM

The workshop will give an introduction to Revit and how it is used within practice and how it differs from the pure AutoCAD non-BIM workflow. We will generate simple project in the conceptual design environment, working our way through massing out a form. We will then learn how to populate a face of that form with associative building components. Students will test out their own components under supervision and desk critique helping to establish the best methods for each project. We will finish with in a discussion of more advanced topics of Vasari, Nucleus, Solar Analysis and the future of Conceptual Design in Revit.

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Instructor: TBA
Details: Participants must bring a laptop running the latest version of Revit. More details coming soon.


F.A.Q: Frequently Asked Questions

What time should you arrive at CCA San Francisco?
- Registration will begin at 9:30am at the front entrance of CCA Hooper Grad Center (184 Hooper St around the corner from the main campus entrance at 1111 Eighth St)
- Coffee and water will be provided at Registration
- Workshops will begin promptly at 10am

Can you remind me what the workshop hardware and software requirements are?
- Each work workshop has unique requirements. Please refer to specific requirements listed above.
- Please install all software before the workshop. Instructors are not responsible for installing any software.

Will there be WIFI access?
- Yes – workshop participants will have unrestricted access to the “CCA-N” Open Wireless Network

When is lunch? Where can we get other food?
- We will take a lunch break between 1-2pm. We will be providing pizza and drinks for lunch.
- Other lunch options include: A2 Cafe, Whole Foods (Rhode Island/17th), Dos Pinas

If you have any further questions please e-mail: Prof. Jason Kelly Johnson at: