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. INTERVIEW: I was interviewed in preparation for the … Continue reading (On-Line) public speaking
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
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
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
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
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
The Barry Onouye studio at the University of Washington (UW) highlights the intersection of architecture and structural design by inviting an outside structural designer to co-teach a studio + seminar. With the central theme of performance, this year’s studio explored tension-based structures, through tensioned and draped nets: we studied how nets can be imagined and built for visual and choreographic expression and this project won … Continue reading NETS AND DANCE: IN*TENSION
In the context of a changing climate, the impact from human activities can be reduced by improving the quality of what we already have. Actions such as improving gas mileage for cars, reducing the waste of agricultural products or improving building energy efficiencies are actions that do not requirement leapfrog technological advances but a public desire to move things in the right direction. We decided … Continue reading CELEBRATE PRINCETON INNOVATION: our Adaptive Solar Shade celebrated for energy savings potential!
Before joining academia, I worked in two (then) small and creative engineering design consultancies (Jane Wernick Associates, London, UK and Ney and Partners, Brussels, Belgium). I had the good fortune of designing and building a number of awe-inspiring building and bridges. You will find my portfolio with some works described in some detail here. In this series, I will walk you through a number of … Continue reading DESIGN EXPERIENCE 1: the role of constraints in the design process
In the Barry Onouye architectural studio at the University of Washington, we are exploring how nets can be imagined and built for visual expression. In my previous post, we discussed the mechanics of nets and exemplified their behavior with nets that we use in daily applications. In this post, we turn our attention to how net can be topologically classified and how we see those … Continue reading NETS AND DANCE: What can we learn from nature and art?