organized by KANSAS CITY DESIGN WEEK  >>  

PROCEED TO REGISTER >> more digital++ more physical+++

rhinoceros 5 + grasshopper parametric plug-in + lasercut production

digital fabrication workshop by LaN / LIVE ARCHITECTURE NETWORK 

photography credits - creative commons license :


// Pre-workshop digital distributions 

Participants will receive online recommended texts + reference videos covering critical realms of: geometry, parametric nature, prototyping, participants will be asked to post online individual introductions & setup workshop blog access.

// Rhino – to – CNC Fabrication

Perhaps the most critical emphasis of this workshop is to enable participants a hands-on eye-opening experience into automated machining to recognize the great opportunity to generate bottom-up strategies from the earliest design stages that feed off of production aspects. Ultimately fabrication know-how can wisely empower design creativity and enable an incredibly cyclical digital < > physical workflow negating the more typical linear progression from design to building.

// Workshop production will utilize laser-cutting

Participants will gain a full understanding of rationalizing a 3d design into geometries reconstructed through laser cut sheet material & file preparations.

// Grasshopper parametric modeling

Described as a ‘visual programming for Rhino’… Grasshopper is a plug-in enabling a parametric design environment for designing relationships versus explicit objects or forms. Sessions will focus on the nature of information processing and how it can be used to manipulate data stream inputs from various sources and use data-feeds to inform geometry or data structures. Participants will learn basic functionality of this vast interface.

// Workshop is designed to accommodate various levels of experience

Those with no Rhino experience will quickly becoming adept through integrated exercises focused on modeling for fabrication; those with some prior Rhino experience will be able to take their understanding far beyond basics of modeling to a further precise & wider understanding of its compatibility to design using parametric features of Grasshopper. All will realize how to to instrumentally drive design intentions in congruence with machining processes.

// Public Finale Presentation : ‘LIVING FORCES’ & workshop results  

On the final evening of the workshop LaN will begin the closing event with a presentation of LaN’s current pursuits specifically as it relates to our current 2012 LIVING FORCES focus (the accumulation of personal health data to drive architectural design) intermixed with critical points of digital design & manufacture.

Workshop participants will present their process & installation. The evening’s events are free and open to the public.

// Schedule

Thursday 5-9pm (4 hrs)

  • introductory lecture ‘INTENSIVE.LY ++digital +++physical’ (30 mins)
  • instruction on laser-cutting (30 mins)
  • split instruction session: (3 hrs)


  1. no rhino experience users: learn basics in rhino via prepping 3d model into laser cut files etc
  2. gh experience users: learn how to use & manipulate a pre-made gh definition for immediate output tests


Friday 5-9pm (4 hrs)

  • lecture 3d-to-2d project examples (25 mins)
  • lasercut pieces on-hand physical assembly (35 mins)
  • split session: (3 hrs)      


  1. beginners: gh intro 
  2. intermediates: manipulating gh definitions round 2

Saturday 9-6pm (8 hrs) group instruction (2 hrs) break into groups – each led by at least one level 2 participant (1 hr) working lunch 12-1p (1 hr) group instruction – automating production aspects (1 hr) design-to-production + assembly (3 hrs)

  • doors open at 5pm to the public
  • LaN lecture / workshop presentation 6-730p (1.5 hrs)
  • LaN presents ‘Living Forces: body-fed design’ (45 mins)
  • q&a / break (15 mins)
  • participant presentations (30 mins)