The Flying Mast

(insane in the membrane...)

The “Expo Boulevard” on

The Sun Valleys in Shanghai (via just published a very interesting article on the “Expo Boulevard” (also known as the “sun Valleys”) – the huge membrane structure that covers the main entrance to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai – designed by the Stuttgart based practice SBA from and Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering (also from Stuttgart).

You can find the article here.

Here’s a previous post i wrote a few months ago on this blog regarding this impressive tensile structure.

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May 16, 2010 - 11:41 AM Comments: Closed

Architectural Knitted Surfaces II – International Workshop

Shenkar College of Engineering and Design

Tel Aviv

27 June – 1 July 2010

Photo: Erez Amitay. Student's project from the Architectural Knitted Workshop I, 2009

The second edition of the Architectural Knitted Workshop will take place in the Shenkar School of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv on 27 June – 1 July 2010.

The workshop is a collaboration with CITA – Centre for Information Technology and Architecture of the Royal Denish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.

Check my post on the year’s edition of the workshop in which I took part.

This year’s five-day architectural course will integrate Rhino’s Grasshopper in order to explore new shapes and patterns of knitting using generative algorithms.

From the workshop’s introduction:

Based on former research, the production process will be based on creating a direct link between digital representations and knitting machine code. This will offer the opportunity to model textile surfaces electronically and computationally, at a level that takes into account both the performance of the surface as a whole and its pattern, texture and materiality. The workshop will incorporate the use of different materials such as conductive fibers and advanced composite materials, to achieve both rigid and elastic conditions of interaction.

We will develop bespoke computer defined textiles as frameworks for the incorporation of computational attributes; transforming knitted surfaces into robotic membranes by imbedding sensing and actuation into their skin. Combining advances in intelligent textiles with parametric modeling we ask how these new technologies have impact on the way we think, design and make architecture.


Dr. Eyal Sheffer, Knitting Laboratory, the department of Textile Design in Shenkar .

Arch. Ayelet Karmon, Department of Interior – Building and Environment Design in Shenkar.

Associate Professor Mette Ramsgard Thomsen, MAA, PhD, Head of CITA.

Langauge: English

Details and application form here.

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May 12, 2010 - 5:24 PM Comments: Closed

Photovoltaic Tensile Structures by FTL Solar

FTL Solar's PowerMod

FTL Solar – an American company founded in 1998 – has developed a range of sustainable products that integrate lightweight tensile fabrics with thin photovoltaic panels called PowerMods®.

PowerMods provide shelter while generating enough solar electricity (up to 4.5 kWh a day) that could power construction tools, lights, fans, medical equipment, computers, and so on.

These versatile products are particularly lightweight, portable and flexible and therefore suitable for commercial, military and disaster relief purposes, as well as for car parks shades or small garden tent structures.

Via Inhabitat. com

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May 1, 2010 - 5:20 PM Comments: Closed

Fabric Church in L’Aquila, Italy

Church of the Resurrection by Nothing Studio

Arch. Enzo Eusebi of Nothing Studio has designed a “fabric church” that is planned to be built in the city of L’Acquila, Italy, by the end of 2010.

The Church of the Resurrection will be built in memory of the 307 victims of the earthquake that devastated the principal city of the region of Abruzzo in April 2009.

The project’s skin will be made of a translucent fiberglass membrane. The design is inspired – according to the architects – by the emergency facilities, and seeks to implement the concept of “Zero Impact” by using so-called low-tech construction methods.

The construction consists of a laminated wood structure and a triple-layered membrane that allows adequate thermal isolation while allowing the passage of filtered natural light.

Church of the Resurrection by Nothing Studio

Church of the Resurrection by Nothing Studio

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April 28, 2010 - 5:16 PM Comments: Closed

A visionary car made of… membrane…?!

I bumped into this cool video on the blog Minimal Structures.

BMW came up with this amazing concept (IMHO) of a car entirely made of  an elastic fabric skin (polyurethane-coated Spandex). The car was christened BMW GINA.

GINA stands for “Geometry and functions In ‘N’ Adaptations”.



Although it’s only a conceptual prototype, it is undoubtedly  a groundbreaking and inspiring idea that challenges the way cars were always designed, produced and conceived.





For more info:

MBW GINA on Wikipedia


Article on WIRED

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April 27, 2010 - 12:49 AM Comments: Closed

“Elegant Ecotones” – Grasshopper Workshop in Bologna, Italy

Last March I took part on a cool Workshop in Bologna (Italy) titled “Elegant Ecotones – Grasshopper workshop Level I – parametric & generative design” Organized by Andrea Graziano and Alessio Erioli from Co-de-iT and Giulio Piacentino from McNeel Europe.

The guys from Co-de-iT have just uploaded on issuu a very nice Workshop-Report.

Check it out in here!

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April 21, 2010 - 10:48 PM Comments: Closed

Webinar “Bathsheba Sculpture: using T-Splines to create products and sculptures”

Yesterday evening I had the chance to follow a very interesting webinar titled “Bathsheba Sculpture: using T-Splines to create products and sculptures”. In this one-hour-long on-line seminar the digital artist Bathsheba Grossman together with Matt Sederberg from T-Splines explained how she uses T-Splines for Rhino in order to create her striking sculptures and gave a live demonstration of how she actually made three of her designs.

You can watch the recording of the webinar in this link. Highly recommended!

QUIN by Bathsheba Grossman, available on

A sculpture by Bathsheba Grossman done with t-Splines

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March 31, 2010 - 9:52 PM Comments: Closed

The Japanese Pavilion for Expo 2010

(Source: designboom)

Japan Pavilion is a 24 meters high construction of double-layer ETFE cushions mounted on a lightweight steel frams. With its approximately 6,000m² plot It will be among the largest of all foreign pavilions at Expo 2010 Shanghai China.

More after the break.

Continue Reading “The Japanese Pavilion for Expo 2010″

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December 21, 2009 - 12:13 PM Comments: Closed

lighttube by Arch. Marco Hemmerling

(Text and photos courtsy of Arch. Marco Hemmerling)

(Photo by Michel Bobilier)

(Photo by Martial Trezzini)

(Photo by Michel Bobilier)

(Photo by Michel Bobilier)

Last weekend the installation lighttube has been inaugurated at the 9th annual Festival “Arbres et Lumières” in Geneva, Switzerland. The concept for the illumination at Square Pierre Fatio in the city center is based on two major aspects of spatial perception. In first place the installation amplifies the relation between the central column and the surrounding trees. By reinforcing the correlation of the trees with the centre of the square, the light membrane structure focuses on the connection of the vertical elements of the site. The second aspect of the design aims to an added value, which is brought in with the new element of the lighttube. Even though being a connector, the lighttube manages to establish its own quality, which formally derives from the evolutionary principle of growth. The abstract idea of ramification is transformed into an integral shape that puts the trees as well as the column and the space in between in a new light. The light concept incorporates a constant change of color for the illuminated trees and the membrane structure to support the idea of evolutionary transformation and generates at the same time an ever-changing perception of the scenery. Next to other installations, lighttube will be exposed in Geneva until January 3rd.

(Photo by Michel Bobilier)

(Photo by Michel Bobilier)

(Photo by Michel Bobilier)

(Photo by Michel Bobilier)

Marco Hemmerling (1970) studied architecture and interior design. Before setting up his own practice in Cologne, he worked at the firm UN Studio and was, among others, co-head of design and execution of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Since 2007 he teaches and conducts research as Professor of Architecture & Design Interior at the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences. Marco Hemmerling intervenes in various universities and conferences across Europe and in South America.


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December 4, 2009 - 2:43 PM Comments: Closed

Hot Air


(Credit: HotAir2009 on Flickr)

HOT AIR is an iconic head-shaped inflatable and inhabitable monument, Designed by Anca Trandafirescu, an architect and assistant professor in architecture at the University of Michigan, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism in Romania.


(Credit: HotAir2009 on Flickr)

The idea behind Trandafirescu’s design of an anonimous head of an overthrown statute is that “the contradictions of optimism AND instability inherent in Romania’s political change are reflected in the mass, material, and construction of a symbolic image filled with HOT AIR.”

The project was mounted on Noveber 3-7 2009 in Piata Victoriei, Timisoara, Romania where the first large demonstrations in the country took place and eventually led to the fall of the dictatorship.



(Credit: HotAir2009 on Flickr)

Hot Air was realized in association with the city ’s Young Artists/Young Democracy expo and the American-Romanian Music Festival with the support of the city of Timisoara, Romania, the University of Michigan through the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, the Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies, and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.


(Credit: HotAir2009 on Flickr)

The designer herself with the assistance of Le Nguyen built this impressive inflatbale structure manualy. The patterning and cutting of the polyethylene plastic sheets was done exclusively by hand, using physical models, and the welding was done with a simple household iron.

chromocranium from HOT AIR 2009 – Anca T on Vimeo.

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December 1, 2009 - 1:06 PM Comments: Closed

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