Geometric Structural Design: Material Computation for Structural Geometry (Fall 2021)
Pedro Medrano, Yuxuan Wang, Mingyang Yuan, Jianan Dai, Chenxiao Li, Lipi Jain, Zherui Wang, Umar Mahmood, Hadi El Kebbi, Sophia O’Neill, Daniel B Rothbart, Teng Teng, Hua Chai, Yiqi You, Tianchang Chu
Material Computation for Structural Geometry course provides a comprehensive introduction to novel geometric methods of structural design based on 2D and 3D graphical statics. The primary emphasis of the course will be on (i) developing a general understanding of the geometric representation of their internal and external equilibrium forces; and (ii) designing material tectonics based on the flow of forces in the system. Considering both force flow and material methods are necessary for designing efficient and innovative architectural structures. This semester, special consideration will be given to structural wood and computational methods for the detail design of joinery and assembly process of spatial node geometry and the proper fabrication techniques to construct the complex geometry of the structure.
Problem Statement and Objectives
The course is divided into five consecutive parts with specific intentions; Part I will introduce the geometric principles of equilibrium of structural forms; Part II will focus on structural form finding using geometric techniques; Part III will concentrate in manipulating the geometry of the structural form and its force diagram to explore various architectural schemes; Part IV will provide the necessary procedures to constrain the form and force diagrams to specific locations and control the boundary conditions; and Part V will specifically emphasize the choice of material and the fabrication techniques to construct complex spatial forms.
Therefore the course has the following particular intentions:
- to introduce the concept of equilibrium using geometric techniques, expanding the reciprocal relationship between the elements of an equilibrated structural form and its force diagram;
- to emphasize the use of geometry in designing complex yet efficient structural forms and deriving the internal and external forces using geometric diagrams;
- to simplify the understanding of complex structural concepts using geometric language instead of numerical methods; and,
- to investigate different materials and fabrication techniques to realize spatial structural forms.
On completion of this course, students should be able to:
- describe the equilibrium of structural concepts using geometric methods of graphical statics in 2D and 3D;
- construct structurally informed, novel architectural concepts and derive the internal and external forces in the system geometrically; and,
- understand the challenges in materializing spatial structural forms and develop appropriate fabrication techniques to construct their complex components.