Learning from Morandi

Bahrain, 2018.

  Morandi Plan Render, Yazeed Alamasi.

Morandi Plan Render, Yazeed Alamasi.


In a world where the analogue changed to digital at an exponential rate, we seem to have lost the ability to be critical and sensitive to design. Digital, doesn’t mean good and therefore we have to revisit our design approach. Critical thinking is the ability to analyze the way you think and present evidence for your ideas, rather than simply accepting your personal reasoning as sufficient proof. The architecture world seems to either operate as ‘form follows function’ or ‘form follows nothing’, this workshop will attempt to bring function to imagination. To break away from bad habits, we will be analyzing paintings instead of images, objects instead of buildings and image making rather than diagraming. These methods of analysis and production can then be reapplied to architecture and the built environment.

  Morandi Elevation Render,   Hanan Alshehri.

Morandi Elevation Render, Hanan Alshehri.

Course Schedule

Subject to change.

  • Day 1: Introduction to the workshop/ Rhino interface.
  • Day 2: Precedent analysis.
  • Day 3: Rhino: Creating a formal ordering system.
  • Day 4: Rhino: Program Distribution/ Diagramming.
  • Day 4: Rhino: Introduction to Rhino 3D/ Massing strategies.
  • Day 5: Massing strategies II.
  • Day 6: Form development I.
  • Day 7: Form development II.
  • Day 8: Continue Design/ Individual Desk Crits

(Eid Al-Adha week off, one scheduled 30-mins crit will be scheduled individually)  

  • Day 9: Introduction to image production/ Texture mapping and photoshop tutorial.
  • Day 10: Develop texture images.
  • Day 11: Form development III.
  • Day 12: Illustrator tutorial/ output diagrams.
  • Day 13: Design Development.
  • Day 14: Introduction to V-Ray/Draft renders.
  • Day 15: Generate and output Drawings.
  • Day 16: Final Renders.
  Morandi/Program Composition,   Afnan Jallad.

Morandi/Program Composition, Afnan Jallad.


We will be following a design studio setting, with a mix of lectures to introduce the concept, technical tutorials that will be followed by desk crits and lab time. Each person will choose a painting by artist Giorgio Morandi, who has been referenced by Aldo Rossi and Le Corbusier, to manufacture their own project. The process will reject the traditional design process of 3D objects originating from boxes or plan drawings. Participants will be given ways of analysis to extract information from a two dimensional painting and converting it into architectural drawing conventions. Once the set is designed we will respond to them by cross examining them to various artists and architectural styles. This will be the beginning of the design process, which will lead to project that tackles representation in both drawing and image making (rendering). We will cover the aspects of critical thinking and technical skills required to design with sensitivity to subtleties.

  Facade Treatment, Example.

Facade Treatment, Example.


5th August – 5th September

(Eid Al-Adha's week will be off)


4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

(16 classes/ 64-hours total)

Venue: Baraa Training Center, Riffa.


  Formal Ordering System, example.

Formal Ordering System, example.


The workshop will use Rhino 3D and simultaneously add V-Ray, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to the loop.  The exercises that are taught will contribute towards the final project will cover the principles of design approach and graphical representation of the information extracted. After the initial modeling part of the workshop we will be moving towards unconventional forms of material application and image analysis. The negotiation between the precedent and work produced will be an essential part of the development.

Rhino 3D, V-Ray, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.

No pre-requite skills required. Participants should bring their laptop with the software pre-installed. An external mouse is required.

(download instructions will be sent after enrollment).

  Plan Detail, Example.

Plan Detail, Example.