How will we live together?

Elias and Yousef Anastas most recent installation, All-purpose, was exhibited at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Yousef is an architect, part of the AAU ANASTAS architecture studio with his brother, and an alumn of the Form Finding Lab.One of their previous works, the Qamt stone bench, was featured previously in this Form Finding Lab blog post. Now, with the All-purpose … Continue reading How will we live together?

What is the future for shell design and construction?

Last Saturday (16th of January 2021), I had the great fortune of participating in a fascinating panel discussion about what the next trends are for shell design and construction with the structural and math wizard Chris Williams (Chalmers University) and the architectural engineer Philippe Block (ETHZ). The conversation was a bit provocative but actually also very insightful. If you missed it, you are in luck … Continue reading What is the future for shell design and construction?

Lace rod networks at the intersection of engineering and art

How can art inspire engineering systems? We have been working with bobbin lace and textile artists to find out. Our work is exhibited at the 2021 Joint Mathematics Meetings. Interlaced bigons from Lauren Dreier on Vimeo. Inspired by a traditional bobbin lace pattern, ‘torchon ground’, elastic strips are interlaced to create a gradient of out-of-plane behavior. The key structural element is a bigon which consists … Continue reading Lace rod networks at the intersection of engineering and art

Robots and humans collaborate to revolutionize architecture

Two Princeton researchers, architect Stefana Parascho and engineer Sigrid Adriaenssens, dreamed of using robots to simplify construction, even when building complex forms. “We want to use robots to build beautiful architecture more sustainably,” said Adriaenssens, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and the director of the Form Finding Lab. So the professors partnered with architecture and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) to create a striking and unique … Continue reading Robots and humans collaborate to revolutionize architecture

(On-Line) public speaking

Over the years, the research and teaching at the Form Finding Lab, has been disseminated through a wide range of video and audio material.  I have collected some of it here. TEACHING: What engineering and art students learned in my course co-taught with the artist Joe Scanlan, CEE418/VIS418 Extraordinary Processes ‘Princeton students make their bed’, 2020. RESEARCH: We reached over 6000 participants in our DigitalFUTURES … Continue reading (On-Line) public speaking

Double helix of masonry—we uncover the secret of Italian renaissance domes

The construction of the Florentine duomo by Filippo Brunelleschi has been an engineering marvel for more than 500 years, showcasing ancient techniques that still hold valuable insights for modern engineering. Until now, it has remained a mystery how the master goldsmith and sculptor managed to build the masterpiece that pushes the limits of what is possible to construct even with modern building technologies, and how the masters … Continue reading Double helix of masonry—we uncover the secret of Italian renaissance domes

TRANSFORMATION AND GEOMETRY IN ANNE TYNG’s WORK

For years the graphic designer Stephanie Specht and I have wanted to collaborate on a project related to the architecture of Louis Kahn (1901-1974). This year, I was invited to a panel discussion on the work and design philosophy of Anne Tyng (1920-2011). Anne was an architect by training and had a deep interest in geometry (and in particular platonic solids). Anne collaborated with Louis … Continue reading TRANSFORMATION AND GEOMETRY IN ANNE TYNG’s WORK

Extraordinary Processes: Extraordinary Beds

At Princeton, our students are taking final exams now. In the course that the visual artist Joe Scanlan and I teach, VIS418/CEE418 Extraordinary Processes, students were tasked this semester with designing and building beds that are equally inspired by their creativity and the structural principles of engineering. What you might find interesting is that, for their final exam, the students were required to spend the … Continue reading Extraordinary Processes: Extraordinary Beds

The art and engineering of curved folding

Curved crease origami is a special type of origami which folds along curved creases instead of straight ones. Due to the curved creases, the paper bends while folding, resulting in complex and beautiful forms that can be used in engineering applications from cars to novel architectural structures. It is no coincidence that the curved crease origami pioneer, David Huffman ,was also a computer scientist and … Continue reading The art and engineering of curved folding

DESIGN EXPERIENCE 2: drawing in the design process

Drawing connects the hand to the mind.  So it is no wonder that all exemplary designers (whether they are in fashion or in structures) are very skilled at making clear and convincing drawings to inform their own thought process, go into a dialogue with and convince the client. In this post I give you some advice on creating drawings and incorporating them into the design … Continue reading DESIGN EXPERIENCE 2: drawing in the design process