Lecture: Jan Brütting

02/14/2017  Wurster Hall rm 104, 1:30pm

Jan Brütting (EPFL / University of Stuttgart)

Jan studied Civil Engineering at the Technische Hochschule Nürnberg, Germany. After the completion of his bachelor’s thesis on parametric gridshell design he moved on to study the international degree program M.Sc. ITECH at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, A program co-organized jointly by the institutes ITKE (Prof. Jan Knippers) and ICD (Prof. Achim Menges). There Jan was educated in lightweight design and form finding, computational design, and digital fabrication in an interdisciplinary research environment. Along with his academic education he gained experience in multiple planning offices in construction and mainly structural engineering. He worked for Werner Sobek Stuttgart AG on national and international projects on innovative structures. In December 2016 he started as a doctoral candidate at the Structural Exploration Lab, EPFL.

Jan is interested in the interface between structural engineering and architecture with a focus on innovative structures, parametric design, digital fabrication, and sustainability. At the Structural Exploration Lab, Jan focuses his research on the design and optimization of reusable and modular structural systems.

During the his studies in Stuttgart he worked on two major projects in the field of bending-active structures: The institutes’ Research Pavilion 2016, a temporary bending-active double layer shell made from custom laminated and bent plywood elements. The pavilion is the first of its kind to employ industrial sewing of wood elements on an architectural scale. It is part of a successful series of research pavilions which showcase the potential of computational design, simulation and fabrication processes in architecture. Bending-active segmented shell is a structural system, Jan developed in his research thesis. Here a desired, double-curved geometry or target surface is approximated through a segmentation into single curved elements. For the bending process the elements have to be comparatively flexible but their final connection to a segmented shell structure allows for an efficient structural load bearing behavior by membrane action.