Berkeley Weave & Bend9.

Plywood installations at UC Berkeley

Project Description

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 the two methods through close analysis of bending-active plate structures, discussing their advantages and disadvantages based on built case studies. This works introduces the core ideas behind bending-active structures, a rather new structural system that makes targeted use of large elastic deformations to generate and stabilize complex geometrical forms based on initially planar elements. Previous research has focused mainly on form-finding. As a bottom-up approach, it begins with flat plates and recreates the bending and coupling process digitally to gradually determine the final shape. Form-conversion, conversely, begins with a predefined shape, which is then discretized by strategic surface tiling and informed mesh subdivision that consider the geometrical and structural constraints given by the plates. The two built case studies exemplify how these methods integrate into the design process. Both projects convert a desired shape into wide-spanning constructions that either weave multiple strips together or connect distant layers with each other, providing additional rigidity. The presented case studies successfully prove the effectiveness of form-finding and form-conversion methods and render a newly emerging design space for the planning, fabrication, and construction of bending-active structures.

Additional Information

Design, Engineering, and Scientific Development
Asst.Prof. Simon Schleicher
Dipl.-Ing. Riccardo La Magna

Collaborating Institutions
University of California, Berkeley – Department of Architecture
University of Stuttgart – Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE)

Consulting and Logistical Support
Mei‐yen Shipek

Assembly and Construction
Rex Crabb, Stefanie Hickl, Martin Horn, Riccardo La Magna, Josh Campbell Myers, Andrei Nejur, Sean Ostro, Gabriel Patin, Simon Schleicher, Mei‐yen Shipek, Trent Still

Consulting and Logistical Support
Mei‐yen Shipek

Industry Partner
Autodesk, Pier 9

Book Articles
La Magna, R., Schleicher, S., & Knippers, J. (2016). Bending-Active Plates. In: Adriaenssens, S., Gramazio, F., Kohler, M., Menges, A., & Pauly, M. (Eds.). (2016). Advances in Architectural Geometry 2016. vdf Hochschulverlag AG.


Project Details

  • Client UC Berkeley, Autodesk Pier9
  • Date February 1, 2016
  • Tags Bending-active Plates, research, Research

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