IABSE HENDERSON COLLOQUIUM: How to design the next generation of adaptive structures?

This is what I talked about: The metaphor of a city as an Urban Metabolism, as a living organism that encompasses material and energetic streams from the inorganic construction of settlements, was first introduced by the pioneering ecologist Arthur Tansley.  To be able to apply this concept to urban design, the different urban flows, scales and the corresponding infrastructures need to be understood. The design and engineering of these infrastructures is directly linked to the quality of Urban Metabolism. Current digitization and upgrading of traditional cities pushes us towards “Adaptive” Infrastructure. Adaptive Infrastructure manages urban flows and allows for real-time responses. In my research I focus on the development of novel adaptive structures, that can be equipped to be intelligent, knowledgeable and systematic. I draw on rigid body motions, found in linkages and origami, and elasticity, found in nature, to tailor the deployment and service behavior for novel bridge and architectural façade systems.  These systems exhibit remarkable properties of low actuation energy and variable stiffness amongst others.  I am excited to share the research and development of these systems and foresee their application in the domain of Adaptive Infrastructure.