The sub-projects Modelling Interdependency (scale of the element) examine the interdependencies that appear in friction based structures. Taking point of departure in timber based macro-weaving systems that scale up textile principles, the project aims to devise novel ways of computing the complex feedback in the stress-forces that characterise these systems. Using evolutionary systems of computational learning, the aim is to devise an adapting system in which goal states self-parameterise thereby allowing greater design control.
Generative Cable Networks For Active Bending Structures
Lace Wall explores hybrid structures that combine elements in tension and compression. Here two elements of low stiffness – the fibreglass beam and the cable network – are combined to create one whole of high stiffness. The element is form active shaped by the interdependency between the elements that restrain each other.
The Social Weavers is a bending active, non-standard grid shell structure made from fibre composite rods of variable diameter and stiffness. The installation develops aggregate self-forming processes that intersect with the behavioural activation and distribution of fibre-composites under design direction for the production of a novel architecture.
Where parametric modelling allows designers to work in flexible ways with variable geometries, the associated problems of parameterisation and reduction are well known. Parametric models are normally limited because they necessitate a pre-configuration of their embedded variables as well as a pre-determination of model topology, meaning that the designer needs to know all defining parameters and relationships between model elements at the start of the design project. “Learning to be an Arch” operates as an experiment that tests new methodologies for the modelling of design systems that challenge this standard of configuration fixity by opening parameter spaces in both variable value and element connectivity while simultaneously embedding material behaviour within morphogenesis.
Traditional thinking in architecture and engineering alike is to understand the built environment as static, unaffected by changes in their environment. Buildings are designed for permanence and thought as stable and unchanging.
Tower explores the idea of a moving arch, a resilient structure that adapts under environmental changes.
Tower is a the result of an interdisciplinary research collaboration betweenCentre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation in Copenhagen (Denmark), the Department for Structural Design and Technology (KET), University of Arts Berlin (Germany), Fibrenamics, Universidade do Minh, Guimarães (Portugal), Essener Labor für Leichte Flächentragwerke, Universität Duisburg-Essen (Germany) and the Portuguese textile company AFF a. ferreira & filhos, sa, Caldas de Vizela.
A TOWER – The resilience Tower Typology
The concept of resilience is chosen as a primary design driver in the project. Resilience is understood here as the ability to recover from or adjust to change or external stimuli. Specifically this implies being able to withstand not just self weight but live loads such as wind. The design strategy here where to develop “soft structures” where resilience was defined as the ability of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically, and release that energy upon unloading. This design requirement points towards a focus on potential applicability to industry and practice.
The architectural typology of the tower was chosen as the design case with the aim of building a 6-10 meter tall demonstrator in the spring of 2015.
The ability to design for and with material performance is a core resource for design innovation closely tied to material optimization. The project introduces three scales of design engagement by which to examine material performance: the structure, the element and the material.
Tower questions the tools for integrating information across the expanded digital design chain, the project asks how to support feedback between different scales of design engagement moving from material design, across design, simulation and analysis to specification and fabrication.
Designing at three scales
MACRO: At the “macro” scale the architectural typology of a form active tower presents challenges outside of common applications of form finding such as shells and membranes which may be form found using known and tested principles such as catenary networks and minimal surfaces.
MESO: On the “meso” scale the project explores the potential of Bending Active Tensile Membrane structures as a strategy for satisfying the goals described on the macro scale. Specifically these may be defined as bending active linear members constrained by a tension active membrane resulting in a stiff hybrid structure with a high degree of resilience..
MICRO: At the “micro” scale the project introduces bespoke elastic knit as the tensile membrane – specially fabricated from high tenacity polyester yarn and programmed to the tower and its performance – and fibre-reinforced polymer rod as the slender bending members which are constrained by the membrane.
The fabric is knitted using knit Piquet Lacoste a less elastic a more isotropic knit. The membranes are produced on a double bed knitting machine which allows the creating of channels and pocket to steer the rots position, and wholes for tension/lines and stitching the membranes together.
Photographer Anders Ingvartsen
GRP materials by Fibrolux GmbH