S. Adriaenssens, ‘Form Matters’, Revista Materia, Special Issue: Tecnologia: Material Digital, vol. 13., pp.76-83, 2016.
Master builders throughout history have made significant strides in exploiting forms to enclose three-dimensional spaces, to provide shelter and protection or to bridge voids, such as water and roadways. In the absence of numerical prediction methods, they resorted to of free forms as an architectural expression. Yet, structural performance as the main design driver is often excluded from the initial design process. The scholarship at the Form Finding Lab (Princeton University, USA) can be placed in a force-modelled tradition by pioneering novel numerical structural form generation approaches and unique structural performative forms. Three studies are presented that showcase the development of such techniques, which when craftfully manipulated, result in surprising shapes for structurally efficient footbridges, roofs and barriers.