In today’s global economy, the construction industry is increasingly challenged to optimize its performance reducing costs and minimizing the impact on the environment. The industry is currently evolving towards a full digital-based design system through a better integration of structure, materials and form through new fabrication technologies, which can create new opportunities, respond to global challenges, and maintain competitiveness. This paper presents two possible distinct design schemes in order to produce a lightweight architectural structure. One scheme is based on topological optimization resulting in a shape design and the second one is based on material and porosity optimization resulting in a material gradient design. Both techniques can be used to optimize architectural structures.