RECAP: IABSE’s Future of Design 2018.

The 2nd annual IABSE Future of Design 2018 conference was held in New York City on Saturday, April 28. With Victor Charpentier as a leading member of the organizing committee, students from the Form Finding Lab were able to attend the event. This year’s conference sought to bring together structural engineers, architects, artists, fabricators, and builders in order to explore new ways of designing, building, … Continue reading RECAP: IABSE’s Future of Design 2018.

What I am thinking: interplanetary architect and technologist Xavier De Kestelier

Xavier De Kestelier is the Head of Design Technology and Innovation at HASSELL studio. Prior to this he was co-head of the Specialist Modelling Group, the research and innovation arm of Foster + Partners. Xavier has led several multidisciplinary research projects in the field of large scale 3D printing. In his latest work with NASA and ESA he researched the potential of 3D printed habitats on … Continue reading What I am thinking: interplanetary architect and technologist Xavier De Kestelier

Let’s have R-Fun

  The solution to this Latin anagram published by Robert Hooke (1635-1703) is the following “Ut pendet continuum flexile, sic stabit contiguum rigidum inversum”, the translation is “As hang the flexible line, so but inverted will stand the rigid arch”. The concept is simple: in order to obtain an arch that acts in pure compression, the shape of the equivalent hanging chain needs to be … Continue reading Let’s have R-Fun

What I am thinking: structural and mathematical wizard Chris Williams

Chris Williams is an Artistic Professor at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Chalmers University. Chris joined Ted Happold’s group at Arup in 1972 where he worked on Frei Otto’s Multihalle gridshells in Mannheim and was responsible for the structural analysis and physical model testing. In 1976 he came with Ted Happold to the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath. His research interests hinge on the … Continue reading What I am thinking: structural and mathematical wizard Chris Williams

Bio-inspiration: necessary abstraction in the study of biological adaptive structures (1/2)

In this first post of 2-part series on bio-inspiration I detail the design philosophy that has guided the study of plant movements reported in a recent publication on amplification of actuation in plants. The second post of the series details the 5 abstracted mechanisms of amplification of actuation in plant movements identified in the publication. The bustling trend of bio-mimicry has gotten the world of shape … Continue reading Bio-inspiration: necessary abstraction in the study of biological adaptive structures (1/2)

Shaken but overlooked: efficiency, economy and elegance in earthquake-prone areas

Are structures outside of the Euro-American canon being overlooked when we discuss structural art? In an essay that was selected as one of three finalist submissions for the 2018 SOM Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship, Tim Michiels argues through examples from Japan and Mexico, that extraordinary structures built in earthquake-prone areas do not always receive the attention they deserve. 1. Celebrated structural art is underrepresented in … Continue reading Shaken but overlooked: efficiency, economy and elegance in earthquake-prone areas

A problem in paradise: modeling and designing shark barrier cable nets

La Reunion, a French island in the southern Indian Ocean, is renowned for its surfing and beautiful beaches. However, this paradise has been suffering from a surge in shark attacks in recent years. Since 2011, there have been at least nineteen attacks, of which seven were fatal. The attacks peaked in 2013, which forced authorities to temporarily ban aquatic activities. As a result, the island’s … Continue reading A problem in paradise: modeling and designing shark barrier cable nets

What I am thinking: the budding glass engineer/artist Gregor Hortsmeyer

A native of California, Gregor Horstmeyer is an enthusiast of performance-based seismic design, in addition to glass, timber and concrete design. Growing up working in a glass blowing studio, he eventually combined his interest in glass with studies in engineering by writing a final year thesis on hyperbolic glass shell structures at the Form Finding Lab . Since joining Eckersley O’Callaghan in 2011, Horstmeyer has … Continue reading What I am thinking: the budding glass engineer/artist Gregor Hortsmeyer