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Bending-active Plates.

Bending-active plate structures use the elastic deformation of planar, off-the-shelf building materials to generate curved surface structures. While the traditional maxim in engineering is to limit the amount of bending in structures, this typology actually harnesses bending for the creation of complex and extremely lightweight designs. A strategy that is very common an many biological structures and inspirational role models. In the past, thin plates have rarely been used as primary structure in architecture because of their low bending stiffness. Many sheet materials like plywood, metals, plastics, and fibre-reinforced polymers, however, are not only flexible but also have high tensile strength. The two properties together are a perfect match for bending-active structures because they enable elements to undergo large elastic deformations and to resist high stresses before failure. This behaviour opens up new possibilities for the design of bent static and kinetic structures. However, the most significant advantage of these systems is that they can be constructed from simple planar parts, which can be fabricated with inexpensive, conventional flatbed processes. Additionally, the assembly of these structures does not require skilled labour or auxiliary formwork. Despite these benefits, the design of bending-active plate structures is still a major challenge. This is because it is difficult to assess their structural behaviour and to accurately anticipate their deformed geometry. The goal of the current research is therefore to develop new design approaches and proof their validity with built case studies.

Fabrication Workshop: Kreysler & Associates

Bending-active Plates, Research, Studio One

Studio One students just came back from a fantastic 3-day fabrication workshop at Kreysler & Associates – one of the leading manufacturers in composites constructions. The team at Kreysler gave us a… read more →

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Berkeley Weave & Bend9

Bending-active Plates, research, Research

With the Berkeley Weave and the Bend9, the authors aim to contribute to the discourse on bending-active structures by highlighting two different design methods, form-finding and form-conversion. The authors compare… read more →

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Out of Plane

Bending-active Plates, ITKE, research

This collaborative exhibition presents simulations, sketch models, and large-scale demonstrators of novel architectural forms and structures made possible through the creative exploration of bending and folding principles. It showcases the… read more →

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ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010

Bending-active Plates, ITKE, research, Research

In 2010, the Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the University of Stuttgart designed and constructed a temporary research pavilion.… read more →

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