Computational Design

About Computational Design

What is the Computational Design degree?

Unique in Australia, this degree will equip you with the skillset to face the challenges and innovative changes of the 21st century city on the application of digital technologies in the built environment.

You will be empowered with a new understanding of digital technologies and their application within the built environment. You will engage in projects spanning from industrial design, architecture, construction, urban design and planning.

Find out more about the new CoDe degree by watching a Google Hangout information session with course creator Dr M. Hank Haeusler.

Design architectural spaces

You will learn to use computers to design architectural spaces, linking architecture and design with engineering and science.

Use emerging digital tools

This course will teach you how creative, technical and aesthetic solutions are gained through the application of an extensive range of emerging digital tools. These tools will allow you to capture, optimise, rationalise and fabricate digital design solutions.

Be unique

This degree is unique in Australia and offers you all aspects of the application of digital technologies. This degree will equip you to face the challenges of the 21st century city and take part in the progress towards achieving more sustainable environments.

Be career-ready

You will learn skills essential to commence your career after graduation. This course will prepare you to be a resilient employee in a fast changing job market and will equip you with knowledge to enter the industry with an advantage.

Who is this degree for?

If you are passionate about using a computer and designing objects, then this degree is for you. You will use your talents to develop architecture and design concepts that speak to your generation.

Why are we introducing this new degree?

UNSW Built Environment has a long standing history of being the first to introduce computers to architecture. With the rapid changes in digital technology, it is crucial we offer you a superior and relevant degree which integrates digital fabrication via laser cutters and 3D printers, software like Grasshopper for parametric modelling, or gaming technologies like the Oculus Rift.

Work on real life projects

You will have the opportunity to work with your peers from other degrees and faculties, and apply your new skills on practical projects.

Benefit from international exchange programs

During your study with UNSW Built Environment you will have the opportunity to go on international exchange programs. UNSW has over 200 exchange partners.

What you will learn

Our new degree is in response to the changes in design and technology and will give you a unique opportunity to learn to:

  • Construct artefacts or buildings in either virtual environments such as gaming environments, 3D modelling software or physical environments such as 3D printer and laser cutter
  • Contextualize these artefacts or buildings in a city context as responsive environments via using electronic sensors transforming our cities into Smart Cities
  • Calibrate these artefacts or buildings where we use software to optimize our designs to make them more sustainable and better performing to the demands of the 21st century city. By being able to calibrate the design, you will be able to make informed decision about which design is the best for the context. This knowledge is very important to work in a 21st century architecture and design firm.

What will you do when you graduate?

Unlike any other degree like this, we have created a learning platform that enables you to work in all of the built environment professional areas. Employers as wide ranging as architects, planners, urban designers, industrial and product designers, landscape architects, property developers, builders and construction managers will value your computational design skills.

The built environment professions are amongst the most advanced in their use of emerging technologies and your qualifications will be highly sought after to support the leading practices and businesses in this industry.

  • Architectural and Urban Design Specialist
  • Digital Optimisation Consultant (Architect/Engineering firms)
  • Software Solutions Developer
  • Design/Production Manager (Construction firm)
  • Smart Cities Consultant (Planning Offices and Councils)
  • Urban Data Analyst (Business Consultancy firms)
  • Design Technology Manager (Architecture Design firms)
  • Digital Fabrication and Smart Manufacturing Specialist
  • Animation Professional
  • Gaming Environment Developer
  • Building Information Model Implementer (BIM)

Options for current Bachelor of Architectural Computing Students

As a current student you will be given the option to continue in the current Bachelor of Architectural Computing program or move to the new Bachelor of Computational Design program.

If you are a current architectural computing students you do not need to apply for the Bachelor of Computational Design. Once you have indicated this is their preference, you will be transferred into the new program will full credit for all courses you have undertaken in the Architectural Computing program.

If you choose to stay in the Architectural Computing program, it should be noted that some of the architectural computing courses will be updated in response to new developments in software and in teaching and learning strategies.

Information sessions will be held in August for current architectural computing students. You will be informed about the new program and the options for either remaining in the current program or moving to Computational Design.


The Bachelor of Computational Design will be introducing an optional alternative admissions scheme for 2015. Applicants for this program in 2015 will be able to submit a portfolio to complement their academic achievements. This optional scheme is targeting those applicants who think they may just fall of the required ATAR (or equivalent) but who have a keen passion and interest in the area of computational design and its application to the Built Environment. More information about the Computational Design alternative admission scheme will be available on this web site at the end of July.

Page Last Updated: 12 Oct 2016