Lecture: Jan Knippers

03/13/2017  Wurster Hall, 6:30pm

Biological Design and Integrative Structures

During the last few decades, computational methods have been introduced into all fields of science and technology. In architecture, they enable the geometric differentiation of building components and allow the fabrication of materials with locally adjusted physical and chemical properties. In the natural sciences, a multitude of digital analysis methods as micro CT have been introduced. The step towards digital technologies enables the direct exchange of information between until now widely separated fields of science and have opened a new era in biomimetics:  local differentiation at various scales, the main feature of natural constructions, can for the first time not only be analysed, but to a certain extent also be transferred to building construction. Almost all load-bearing biological structures are fibrous composites, using the principle of anisotropy to developed finely tuned mechanical and physical properties. This may lead to the fact that fiber based building materials may play a larger role for future developments in architecture and building construction. The presentation will show various projects as the EXPO Pavilion 2010 in Yeosu, Korea, or the Elytra Pavilion at the V&A in London that attempt to explore and demonstrate the potential of biomimetic research for architecture and engineering.

Jan Knippers (University of Stuttgart – ITKEKnippers Helbig)

Jan Knippers studied civil engineering at the Technical University in Berlin. After several years in an international operating consultancy he founded Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering in Stuttgart (2001) and New York (2009) with Thorsten Helbig. In parallel he is professor and head of the Institute for Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the faculty for architecture and urban design at the University of Stuttgart. In practice, research and teaching he focuses on highly efficient building structures and use of innovative building materials. Since recently, Jan Knippers also became spokesperson of the new SFB-TRR 141: Biological Design and Integrative Structures and is part of the European innochain network.

For more information please visit: