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course introduction

Instructor Glenn Wilcox walk through the unique design approach he takes to teaching programming.

Welcome to design computing 3D modeling in Rhinoceros with Python Rhino script. We start the course with a short introduction about my motivation for creating this course and ask ‘Why should a designer learn code?

meet your educator: Professor Glenn Wilcox

I am Professor of Architecture at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. I have been teaching and working with computers in design since the early 1990’s.

about the course:

.course effort

Weeks 1 and 2 of the course focus heavily on the basics of python and rhinoscript. These weeks are slightly longer to cement foundational knowledge. Weeks 4 and 5 emphasize design principles and application and so have fewer steps in order to encourage more time on the assignments.

.how to watch the videos

The course is designed so that learners are always applying their knowledge while learning instead of passively viewing. The videos are longer than typical FutureLearn courses as they are intended to serve as a guide for moving through different concepts. All of the code used in the videos is available on the same step under the title tutorial code. Learners are highly encouraged to follow along with the videos and use the Knowledge Checks which are on the same step to make sure they understand the content.


There are 2 forms of assessment in this course. The first are tests which allow learners to test their knowledge from the demo videos and lessons. The second are larger design assignments. These assignments are meant to help you apply the programming concepts in a design context. These assignments are not formally graded but instead rely on a guided self-assessment and feedback from the larger course community. More on how this feedback process works can be found in the design critique section.

.design critique[feedback]

An essential part of any design course is the opportunity to give and receive feedback. In order to adapt what is typically an in-person session we have integrated a 3rd party website called the Gallery Tool, which was created by the University of Michigan in order to support collaboration and design critiques between learners. If you encounter problems while trying to access it, please ensure that Javascript is enabled in your browser and check that you are using Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. Safari and Internet Explorer are not supported. You can also email to report problems with the gallery tool.

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Design Computing: 3D Modeling in Rhinoceros with Python Rhinoscript

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