WIT Press


Elastic Architecture: Nature Inspired Pliable Structures

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/DN100421

Volume

138

Pages

9

Page Range

469 - 477

Published

2010

Size

3,575 kb

Author(s)

J. Lienhard, S. Poppinga, S. Schleicher, T. Speck & J. Knippers

Abstract

At the interfaces of our mostly stationary architecture and surrounding nature we need to make constructions adaptable to ambient changes. Adaptability as a structural response to changing climate conditions, such as the intensity and direction of sun radiation, can be realised with deployable systems. These systems are often based on the combination of stiff compression members and soft tension members connected with hinges and rollers. Deployable systems in nature are often based on flexibility. This can be observed especially in plant movements. New construction materials such as fibre-reinforced polymers (FRP) can combine high tensile strength with low bending stiffness, allowing large elastic deformations. This may enable a completely new interpretation of convertible structures which work on reversible deformation, here referred to as elastic or pliable structures. In a current research project the kinematics for such systems are derived from certain applicable plant movements. This paper will focus on the biomimetic workflow used to develop elastic kinetic structures based on such movements. The abstraction and optimisation methods will be described from an engineering point of view, focusing on the technical approaches of converting the conceptual results of a first level abstraction into higher level abstractions and finally to physical design. Keywords: pliable structures, deployable structures, plant movement, elastic deformation, variable stiffness, architecture, biomimetics.

Keywords

pliable structures, deployable structures, plant movement, elastic deformation, variable stiffness, architecture, biomimetics