Generative Assemblies

Constraint-Based Component Design + Digital Fabrication

This workshop will be conducted on March 9/10, 2013 from 10:00AM - 6:00PM EST [-5 UTC].


  • Focused learning with Grasshopper and Kangaroo
  • Approaches to working with constraints, ranging from geometric to physical
  • Techniques for detailing geometry for Digital Fabrication
  • Hands-on experience with a large format CNC laser cutter
  • Assemble and take home a collection of Prototypes

Prerequisites + Preparation:

  • Attendance will be limited to provide each participant maximum dedicated time with instructors.
  • This workshop is suitable for all Creative Professionals: Artists, Architects, Designers, Engineers, Programmers, Students.
  • All experience levels are welcome; however, we recommend that you are familiar with the Basics of Grasshopper and Kangaroo. See our online courses for more information.
  • You must bring a laptop to the workshop.
  • You will need to have Rhino 4SR9 or Rhino5 for Windows + Grasshopper 0.9.0014 installed prior to the start of the workshop. A trial versions of Rhino can be found here.
  • The workshop will be held in our studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

About the Instructors:

Ronnie Parsons + Gil Akos are founding partners of Mode Collective. With over 15 years of combined experience designing, making, and teaching, Ronnie and Gil aim to provide workshop participants with a fun, interactive, and productive learning experience.


Discover beautiful, playful, and self-structuring forms using Grasshopper and Kangaroo.

*Workshop registration includes complimentary access to the Parametric Pleating and Introduction to Simulation courses. 

About This Workshop:

Expanding on the capabilities of the parametric tool, Grasshopper, Kangaroo provides creative professionals with the ability to integrate physics-based simulation techniques into their workflow. In applications ranging from architectural to product design, this workshop will cover advanced techniques for modeling adaptable components using dynamic constraints and forces in a performance-oriented environment.

In a fast-paced and hands-on learning environment, you will learn techniques for using Parametric Design, Physics-Based Simulation, and Component Detailing for Digital Fabrication. Through guided exercises, group discussions, and one-on-one prototyping sessions, you will design and construct a series of component assemblies.


Session 1: Parametric Component Design
- Designing parametric components with Grasshopper
- Baking geometry for fabrication with a CNC laser
- Prototyping: laser cut and assemble components

Session 2: Constraint-Based Deformation
- Building spring networks with Kangaroo
- Defining constraints and influences for physics-based modeling
- Capturing component states
- Combining states with parametric component logic
- Prototyping: laser cut and assemble components

Session 3: Detailing and Design Development
- Adding parametric detailing for fabrication
- Applying perforation and framing strategies to components
- Add highlights to assemblies by diversifying the material palette
- Prototyping: laser cut and assemble components

Session 4: Workshopping
- Work 1-on-1 with the workshop instructors
- Push your design further during an open work session
- Prototyping: laser cut and assemble components
- Present your work to the Group