Master builders throughout history have made significant strides in exploiting forms to enclose three-dimensional spaces, to provide shelter and protection or to bridge voids, such as water and roadways. In the absence of numerical prediction methods, they resorted to trial and error construction practices or structural theory to establish a good enough structural form. Today, we experience a renaissance of free forms as an architectural expression. Yet, structural performance as the main design driver is often excluded from the initial design process. The scholarship at the Form Finding Lab (Princeton University, USA) can be placed in a force-modelled tradition by pioneering novel numerical structural form generation approaches and unique structural performative forms. Three studies are presented that showcase the development of such techniques, which when craftfully manipulated, result in surprising shapes for structurally efficient footbridges, roofs and barriers.
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ADRIAENSSENS, S., GABRIELE, S., MAGRONE, P., & VARANO, V. (2016). Revisiting the form finding techniques of Sergio Musmeci: the Bridge over the Basento River. 3rd International Conference on Structures and Architecture (ICSA) 2016, Guimares, Portugal (pp. 543-550).
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