Form Finding Lab - Princeton University Princeton University Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:44:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 EDITOR: JOURNAL OF SPACE STRUCTURES Wed, 08 Oct 2014 00:17:10 +0000 The aim of the journal is to provide an international forum for the interchange of information on all aspects of analysis, design and construction of space structures.

The scope of the journal encompasses structures such as single-, double- and multi-layer grids, barrel vaults, domes, towers, folded plates, radar dishes, tensegrity structures, stressed skin assemblies, foldable structures, pneumatic systems and cable arrangements. No limitation on the type of material is imposed and the scope includes structures constructed in steel, aluminium, timber, concrete, plastics, paperboard and fabric.

The journal aims at striking a balance between theory and practice and creating a platform for exchange of information between structural engineers, architects, civil engineering contractors, system manufacturers and research workers in academic and non-academic establishments.

The journal includes regular reviews of technical publications, books and trade literature. Also included is information on recently built important space structures, recently held conferences and forthcoming events of interest.

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TALK: FORM FINDING Tue, 30 Sep 2014 01:17:14 +0000 Current design theory holds that excessive changes in geometry are undesirable in conventional civil structures. However the natural world is abundant examples where extreme deformations are the normal state.  Our research challenges this restricting structural philosophy with the hypothesis that large elastic deformations can be successfully employed as beneficial design strategy for novel light weight systems. We will present our recent research advances on typologies that benefit from non-linear geometric effects –  bending active beam and shell systems as well as novel suspension bridges.  The presentation will be of interest to students, academics and practitioners in the field of civil and architectural engineering.


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TALK:Stadium Cultures in North and South America Tue, 23 Sep 2014 00:41:34 +0000 From the new World Cup arenas in Brazil to suburban ballparks in the United States, how have stadiums reflected – and even helped to produce – broader social and cultural changes? The panelists will present different perspectives on how sports stadiums, whether described in the language of business, design, or religion, play a vital role in various facets of North and South American cultures.

The panel consists of Sigrid Adriaenssens (Civil Engineering), Bruno Carvalho (Spanish/Portuguese) and William Gleason (English) and is sponsored by the Princeton-Mellon intiative.

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TALK: Miami Marine Stadium (FL, USA): restoration of a city’s identity and local pursuit of pleasure Tue, 23 Sep 2014 00:31:36 +0000 Stadia visually dominate the urban landscape due to their large scale and can be powerful symbols of the promises andproblems of local cities. As they should be designed to last, this hard infrastructure can give a city identity andat the same time improves the local quality of life through the pursuit of pleasure. In the decades leading uptothe 21st century, the Miami Marine Stadium (Miami, FL, USA, 1962present), with its expressive modernhyperbolic paraboloid roof, had been embraced to provide attractive entertainment to the local communitywhile at the same enhance Miami’s image as a city to an (inter)national audience. Under the political pretext ofan unsafe structure, the client, the City of Miami, boarded up the stadium in 1992. The community activist,Donald Worth, co-founder of Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium, will talk about the motivation, objectives,context, organization and challenges of his grassroot organization that aims at the restoration and return tooperation of Miami Marine Stadium in the interest of the local public.

This event is sponsored by the Princeton-Mellon initiative.


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CHAIR: WG5 SHELLS IASS Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:49:58 +0000 The Shell Builders Pier Luigi Nervi, Felix Candela, Anton Tedesko and Ulrich Finsterwalder all belonged to the International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures during their professional career.  It is thus a great honor to take on the chair of Working Group 5 on Shells. Prof. P. Block and I are looking forward to working with you in this exciting design and research field.

More on Working Group 5 here.

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TALK: Artificial Muscles for Dynamic Adaptive Structures Sun, 14 Sep 2014 21:22:50 +0000 In nature, movement is a feature commonly associated with intelligent behavior. Memory is another such feature. Though polymers are known to exhibit these functions separately, they have not been so far incorporated in the same material. Such multi-functionality in a material promises applications such as adaptive building facades with autonomous regulation of temperature without electronics, interactive surfaces, and even powering mini-robots.

We have demonstrated the realization of electro-mechanical memory (EMM) – a type of actuator material that incorporates memory and motion control in the material itself. Thus its actuation can be manipulated, stored, read, and restored independently.

The first material used for the demonstration is based on Nafion, commonly used in battery and fuel cell separators. It can be used to program shapes at multiple temperatures, which could later be recovered one by one on demand. In this work the researchers programmed not only the shapes but also actuation responses, which could be tuned or completely switched off. The shape transformations are reversible, and upon recall, the EMM’s programmed function and actuation amplitude are recovered. The restored states can be cycled thousands of times using low voltage inputs. We also analyzed the dependence of the electrical actuation on the amount of mechanical programming, and the mechanism behind the behavior.

The conceptual combination of separate functions in the same material has led to synthetic efforts in the Active and Intelligent Materials (AIM) lab, where separate material functionalities can be confined to nanoscale structure morphologies. We are working on demonstrating other complementary functionalities as well. One of the synergistic results from this combination has been a two-way linear shape-memory actuation, in addition to the ionic actuation.

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CONFERENCE: International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures Thu, 11 Sep 2014 23:21:53 +0000 These are the papers that we will present:

Adriaenssens, S; Rhode-Barbarigos, L; Horner, M; Charpentier, V. (2014).’Dialectic Form Finding of Sustainable Integrated Structures’, IASS conference 2014, Brasilia, Brazil.

Segal, E; Rhode-Barbarigos, L; Coelho, RDF, Adriaenssens, S. (2014). ‘An Automated Robust Design Methodology for Suspended Structures’, IASS conference 2014, Brasilia, Brazil.

Streeter, M, Rhode-Barbarigos, L., Adriaenssens, S.(2014), ‘Revisiting Harrison’s iterative method for the analysis of inflatable dams.’, IASS conference 2014, Brasilia, Brazil.

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ON-LINE LEARNING: NovoEd and CEE205 Mechanics of Solids Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:01:37 +0000 CEE 205: Mechanics of Solids is the first departmental prerequisite course for all sophomore students entering the CEE Department and also attracts concentrators from Architecture, MAE and ORFE.  Annually, the course serves 20 to 30 students. The learning goals for CEE 205 students are to develop structural engineering design skills (goal #1) and an understanding of the fundamental principles of solid mechanics (goal #2). The objective of this project is to incorporate the online, student-centered learning platform, NovoEd, into the course to provide the students with a more active, engaging and collaborative way of meeting both learning goals while improving their retention of concepts.  Specifically, we build on our successful recent revisions of the course by creating (1) an interactive virtual design space where design ideas can be shared, developed and critiqued and (2) enhanced, online complementary lectures featuring problem solving examples.

Read more about this project here.

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INVITED TALK: UTZON(x) SYMPOSIUM, DIALECTIC FORM FINDING Fri, 15 Aug 2014 18:49:05 +0000 The Symposium brings together leading architectural practitioners from Denmark and Europe creating brick based architectures with educators and researchers working with and developing new architectural techniques and technologies. In this juxtaposition, questions on architectural building culture, craftmanship and future approaches and technologies are presented and discussed. We aim for an exciting day that search for a stronger connection between the past and where we want to go from the present and hence to bridge discussion between research, development and praxis.


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JOURNAL PUBLICATION: Dialectic Form Finding of Passive and Adaptive Shading Enclosures Wed, 13 Aug 2014 21:07:00 +0000 Form finding describes the process of finding a stable equilibrium shape for a system under a specific set of loads, for a set of boundary conditions and starting from an arbitrary initial geometry. However, form finding does not traditionally involve performance constraints such as energy-related criteria. Dialectic form finding is an extension of the process integrating energy-related design aspects. In this paper, dialectic form finding is employed as an approach for designing high performance architectural systems, driven by solar radiation control and structural efficiency. Two applications of dialectic form found shading enclosure structures, a passive and an active one, are presented. The first application example is a site-specific outdoor shading structure. The structure is based on a louver system designed to provide protection from ultraviolet radiation over a pre-defined target only when required, promoting natural lighting and ventilation. The second application example is a shape-shifting modular façade system that adapts its opacity in response to environmental fluctuations. The system can thus improve the environmental performance of a building. Moreover, the system explores elastic deformations for shape changes, reducing actuation requirements. These examples highlight the potential of the extended  form-finding strategy for the design of high performance architectural integrated structures.

Adriaenssens, S.; Rhode-Barbarigos, L; Kilian, A,; Baverel, O.; Charpentier, V.; Horner, M., Buzatu, D (2014). ‘Dialectic form finding of passive and active shading enclosures.’ In: Energies 7(8), 5201-5220; doi:10.3390/en7085201

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