SEMINAR: Geometry Based Form Finding

This lecture will present a new computational form finding method for exploring three-dimensional equilibrium networks, based on   (re-)discovered understanding of the stability of the spectacular vaults from the  Gothic.Through the use of intuitive graphical diagrams, the presented approach now allows designers to gain control over the exploration of structural form, which starts to blur the boundaries between funicular (compression-only) and freeform design. Thanks to insights provided by dual geometrical relations, this innovative approach furthermore allowed to establish efficient solving algorithms for the nonlinear, inverse problem of form rationalization. These new extensions of this research have powerful applications not only for the design of freeform shells, but also for the equilibrium analysis of historical unreinforced masonry vaulted structures with complex geometries. The power of this geometry-driven form finding method will be demonstrated through several built prototypes at different scales, addressing challenges in tessellation, fabrication constraints, and efficiency in construction.


Philippe Block

Assistant Professor in Building Structure

Institute of Technology in Architecture, ETH Zurich