Aggregate Architecture

Research Area

In inanimate nature large masses of granular substances are in constant processes of formation through perpetual cycles of erosion and accretion. Aggregate Architecture emulates this behavior and thus allows for continuous reconfiguration and reuse. Composed of large numbers of unbound yet designed granules, aggregates are based on a fundamentally different logic of construction: in contrast to assembly systems, aggregates materially compute their overall constructional configuration and shape as spatio-temporal behavioral patterns, with an equal ability for both: the stable character of a solid material and the rapid re-configurability of a fluid.

Selected Publications

  1. 2021

    1. Dierichs, K., & Menges, A. (2021). Designing architectural materials: from granular form to functional granular material. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 16(6), Article 6.
    2. Dierichs, K., Koleva, D., Özdemir, E., & Tsiokou, V. (2021). Designing Matter: Autonomously Shape-changing Granular Materials in Architecture. In B. Farahi, B. Bogosian, J. Scott, J. L. García del Castillo y López, K. Dörfler, J. A. Grant, S. Parascho, & V. A. A. Noel (Eds.), Realignments: Toward Critical Computation - ACADIA 2021.
  2. 2020

    1. Dierichs, K. (2020). Granular architectures : granular materials as “designer matter” in architecture. ICD Research Report, 3, Article 3.
  3. 2019

    1. Dierichs, K., Kyjanek, O., Loucka, M., & Menges, A. (2019). Construction robotics for designed granular materials: in situ construction with designed granular materials at full architectural scale using a cable-driven parallel robot. Construction Robotics.
  4. 2017

    1. Bares, J., Zhao, Y., Renouf, M., Dierichs, K., & Behringer, R. (2017). Structure of Hexapod 3D Packings: Understanding the Global Stability from the Local Organization. EPJ Web Conf 140, S. 06021.
    2. Dierichs, K., Wood, D., Correa, D., & Menges, A. (2017). Smart Granular Materials: Prototypes for Hygroscopically Actuated Shape-Changing Particles. ACADIA – Disciplines & Disruption Proceedings of the ACADIA Conference 2017, 222--231.
    3. Dierichs, K., & Menges, A. (2017). Granular Construction: Designed Particles for Macro-Scale Architectural Structures. Architectural Design, 87(4), 88--93.
  5. 2016

    1. Dierichs, K., & Menges, A. (2016). Towards an aggregate architecture: designed granular systems as programmable matter in architecture. Granular Matter, 18(25), Article 25.
    2. Rusenova, G., Dierichs, K., Baharlou, E., & Menges, A. (2016). Feedback- and Data-driven Design for Aggregate Architectures: Analyses of Data Collections for Physical and Numerical Prototypes of Designed Granular Materials. Posthuman Frontiers: Data, Designers, and Cognitive Machines, Proceedings of the 36th Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), 62--72.
  6. 2010

    1. Dierichs, K., & Menges, A. (2010). Natural Aggregation Processes as Models for Architectural Material Systems. In Proceedings of the Design and Nature Conference 2010 (pp. 17--27). WIT Press.

Contact information


Institute for Computational Design and Construction

University of Stuttgart, Keplerstraße 11, 70174 Stuttgart

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