Geo data in Grasshopper, the Beauty of Data Visualizations and the Future of our Cities

This is another post in the Morphocode Picks series, collecting some of the most interesting stuff that we’ve shared recently on facebooktwitter and google+.



Geo data in Grasshopper

Heron is a new add-on for Grasshopper that allows you to import Geographical data in Rhino and Grasshopper.
Importing shapefiles, topographies and geo-coding are among the most interesting features of the add-on.

Get Heron for Grasshopper



modern beauty data visualization

The Modern Beauty of 19th-Century Data Visualizations

Vintage Visualizations is a project that reproduces a number of the LOC’s Civil War-era data visualizations in high-quality poster prints.

Learn More




On being smart about cities

Smart About Cities is a new book by Maarten Hajer and Ton Dassen discussing the future of cities. The book gives a great overview of the challenges that urbanism is facing today and contains a series of beautiful infographics.
Maarten Hajer argues that understanding the history of urbanism is critical for the debate on the future of our cities. “The problems contemporary cities are facing may seem daunting. But they are not without precedent.”

Order the book



Drawing and Data Visualizations

Giorgia Lupi – design director at Accurat talks about the importance of visual inspiration and the act of drawing.
“I see design as a way to translate a structural concept for a specific audience, through a specific medium; design for me is also the process of visual planning and organizing the choices made along the way of a project, given its specific boundaries.”

Read the Interview



Joost Grootens—On Creative Mapping

In an interview for Gestalten, dutch graphic designer Joost Grootens talks about the creative mapping and editorial design.

Watch on Vimeo




Global Trends of Urbanization

The number of mega-cities has nearly tripled since 1990; and by 2030, 41 urban agglomerations are projected to house at least 10 million inhabitants each.
Just three countries — India, China and Nigeria – together are expected to account for 37 per cent of the projected growth of the world’s urban population between 2014 and 2050.

Read more



The Uses of Big Data in Cities

“The Uses of Big Data in Cities” by Luís Bettencourt explores how big data can be useful in urban planning by formalizing the planning process as a general computational problem.

Read the paper


Rabbit for Grasshopper going open source

Rabbit – our beloved plug-in for Grasshopper will soon get an update! The most important thing is that we will open source the plug-in.

Rabbit is written in C# and is based on the Rhino & Grasshopper SDK. The code will be published on github so that anyone will be able to contribute and help improve the plug-in. We will also remove all limitations related to the grid size.

Adding more features is also on the todo list, so if you have any specific requirement in mind – share it in the comments bellow or on the Rabbit page.

Open sourcing will happen gradually as we need to review the current codebase and update it for the latest versions of Grasshopper and Rhino. Stay tuned for updates!


Parametric Design Workshop in Sofia

On 17th & 18th of may, we held a two-day intensive workshop with Rhino & Grasshopper in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The event took place in Fabrica 126, where we introduced the participants to different techniques and tools for design and digital fabrication.

Similarly to our workshops in Frankfurt and Venice, we started with a short lecture and worked through a series of real-world examples that showcase the use of Rhino and Grasshopper in the design process.

Here are a few photos from the event:





The Workshop – Online

We plan to release an online video course covering the use of parametric tools in the design process. Make sure to subscribe for Morphocode Academy and we’ll notify you when the course becomes available.


Parametric Design Workshop in Sofia

We are happy to announce that Morphocode will teach a two day parametric design workshop in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The participants will learn new tools and techniques for design and digital fabrication using Rhinoceros, Grasshopper and Rabbit.

The event will take place in Fabrica 126  on 17th & 18th of may 2014. 


There are no seats left for this event.

Want to participate, but cannot attend?

We’ll publish the workshop contents online. Subscribe for Morphocode Academy now  and we’ll notify you when the course becomes available.

Subscribe Now.

Morphocode at IUAV: the workshop

A few days ago we came back from Venice, where we had an intensive two-day workshop with IUAV‘s Master of Digital Architecture Class (M.A.D.I.). In this post we are going to share our impression of this event and in the days to come we will also share some of the usecases, that we did with the students during the workshop.


IUAV is one of the oldest schools of architecture in Italy. It is currently organized in three faculties: Architecture, Regional Planning, and Arts and Design–, all of which have grown out of the original School of Architecture (founded in Venice in 1926).

M.A.D.I. – Master of Digital Architecture Program

The Master of Digital Architecture is among the latest features in IUAV‘s master program list and it’s activity is most likely to be expanding within the next few years. The class currently consists of 25 students and is fully dedidated to the exploration and application of digital technologies in architecture.

The program is structured in five modules: It starts with a theoretical module, providing the necessary understanding of conceptual frameworks and strategies related to digital technologies and fabrication in Architecture. The program goes also through the exploration of different modeling and rendering techniques. It continues with a fourth module, dedicated to animation and interactive models; and finishes with rapid prototyping and digital construction module.

Morphocode’s workshop took place as part of the Modeling module.

The Place:  Magazzino 6

Our workshop was held in Magazzino 6 – one of IUAV’s numerous locations across the city of Venice.

The building was originally a port warehouse but has been restored in the recent years to house studios and workshops for courses in graphic and multimedia design.

Nearby you’ll find Massimo Scolari‘s “Aliante” Installation: Originally designed for the 1991 Venice Biennale and allocated on the Fondamenta della Tana back at that time. It has been reinstalled and is currently displayed on top of the new building of the Instituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia.

Photo courtesy

The Workshop

We started our 2-day workshop with a lecture about the history of digital tools and their use in contemporary architecture. Here are a few samples of our lecture slides:

In the practice sessions that followed we introduced the students to the basic concepts behind McNeel’s Grasshopper such as dataflow and algorithmic processes. In a project-oriented way and by using real-world examples we’ve explained typical techniques and design patterns used in the process of generative design.

We showcased the latest work-in-progress version of our plug-in Rabbit, covering in brief topics such as self-organization, emergence, chaos theory and pattern formation. Rabbit 0.3 W.I.P. was used to create a life-like growth and an excitable media simulation.

One of the examples that we’ve done together with the students:

Thanks to

We would like to thank Fabio D’Agnano for his invitation. It was a pleasure for us to contribute to M.A.D.I.’s program.

RABBIT: Tools for Grasshopper v.0.1.00 Released!

MORPHOCODE is pleased to announce the first release of RABBIT – a new plug-in for Grasshopper! RABBIT provides a new toolbar with custom components that could solve specific design problems. RABBIT v.0.1.00 contains 6 new components that could produce multiple Cellular Automata variations such as: 2X2, 34 Life, Amoeba, Assimilation, Coagulations, Conway’s Life(ghx included), Coral, Day&Night, Diamoeba, Flakes, Gnarl, HighLife, InverseLife, Long life, Maze, Mazectric, Move, Pseudo life, Replicator, Seeds (2), Stains, WalledCities…. The first release includes also a small list of pre-defined patterns.

This release works with version 0.6.0043 of Grasshopper and is freely distributable package licensed under Creative Commons License.


Rhino + Grasshopper: Cellular Automata on a surface


We played with Cellular Automata in Grasshopper lately.
A Cellular automaton is a system of networked cells(for ex. a regular grid of cells) that interact with each other. Each cell has a state( for ex. “Dead” or “Alive”)
Each cell evolves over time – it could die or survive to the next generation depending on its neighbors. In result of these local interactions, multiple patterns emerge on a global level.
We implemented one of the most famous CA: “The Game of Life” in Grasshopper, have a look at the video:

Each of the cells is projected on a surface parameter. A Timer component drives the evolution of the system.

music by “The Slackers”

Rhino + Grasshopper: Canopy Roof

Quick Experiment. The process:

  •  Draw a few curves and use them as an input
  • Create a lofted surface based on these curves
  • Subdivide the surface; Add controls for the number of subdivisions
  • Draw the diagonals of each subdivided surface, by using the four surface points located at UV(0,0), UV(0,1), UV(1,0), UV(1,1)
  • Pipe the diagonals