Force Sensing Material Behavior

Summer Semester 2011 | ICD Seminar
Diploma 2.2.7
Form Generation and Simulation

Prof. A. Menges, S. Ahlquist, G. Aparicio

The description of architecture relies fundamentally on the articulation of materiality, as it describes spatial and structural conditions. To pursue the integration of these architectural conditions – how the arrangement of material can be driven by the properties of a structural system – one must understand how a material behaves in the presence of internal and external forces. The internal logic of a particular material, such as the fibrous arrangements within textiles or wood, provides both constraints and opportunities by which the application of structural force can derive a certain geometry. In understanding and controlling these relationships, one can pursue a strategy by which materiality can serve as a simultaneous description of structure and spatiality.

This block seminar will pursue the use of Processing, Arduino micro-controllers and sensing devices to intimately study the relationship between material, structure, and geometry. Through Processing, the Arduino devices will be programmed to register tension forces as they are applied to a small material assembly. Additional sensing devices will register changes in the properties of the system as the tension forces are varied. In groups, students will define simple lightweight material systems built of wood veneer and elastic textiles. When pre-stress (tension) is activated into the system, the geometry and material behaviour will change. Effects such as opacity will be measured in relation to the degree of tension within the system.

Requirements: Participants in the seminar are required to attend the ICD’s Advanced Software Workshop introducing the basics of Arduino and Processing (06-08 June). In this workshop, students will build their own circuits used to sense and control parametric design parameters. For the seminar, proficiency in Processing is advantageous but not strictly obligatory. The block seminar and Advanced Software Workshop will be taught in English.

To the top of the page