Special Sessions
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Wood: Structure and Expression

Jan Helge Siem

Depart. Arch. & Tech.

Norwegian Univ. of Sc. and Techn.

Trondheim, Norway


DeInstitute of Architecture & Planning

University of Liechtenstein

Valuz, Liechtenstein

In the current wood architecture, the appearance of wood as a structural element is usually limited to log constructions, where the load-bearing wall is visually present.In most wood constructions, the material is used for the skeleton structure but covered with other materials and not expressed anymore. The goal of this special session is to broaden the perspectives and avoid a limited use of the material. In combining traditional craftsmanship and industrial production, the different speakers are aiming to research on new solutions, which develop new ways for the use of wood in different historical and technical cultures.

Crafting spatiality: Explorations with components and connections
for spatial architectural structures

Mario Rinke

ETH Zürich


Olga Popovic Larsen

Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

Copenhagen, Denmark

Currently digital design tools offer interesting ways of exploring novel structural expressions. Defining and understanding complex geometries through digital tools offers new opportunities for creating novel solutions. Furthermore, advanced fabrication technologies enable complex processing of building components. However, a deep spatial thinking is needed to use the potentials of the many new possibilities of technology in design and fabrication.

This session looks into explorative spatial configurations of components and connections in structures of different scales using precision and the control of complexity to unlock new structural and architectural capacities. Aspects such as:

Which structural and formal qualities of complex spatial arrangements can be unlocked?

How can novel spatial arrangements in connections help to improve their performance and functionality?

Complexity v.s. simplicity: how do we achieve the optimal balance between material/structural efficiency, through fabrication and buildability, leading to novel spatial solutions?  

Shell structures under vibrations

Sigrid Adriaenssens

Princeton University

Princeton, U.S.A 

Stefano Gabriele

University Roma Ter

Rome, Italy

Thin shells are structures generally designed under gravity loadings. Despite this fact they exhibit an impressive behaviour under dynamic loadings (e.g. earthquakes). The aim of this session is to put together researchers that study and could give a contribution in, better understanding the inherent dynamic behaviour of this structures, with the purpose of improving their design in seismic zones together with the already used form finding techniques. In this view, research works where the experimental dynamic behaviour of actual shells is, among others, of great relevance for the preservation of the ancient and modern Architectural heritage.

Digital Design: geometric-algebraic convergence as formal mediator between the disciplines


Toni Kotnik

Aalto University

Helsinki, Finland

The historic division between the disciplines of structural engineering and architecture is also a division in the types of mathematics that have been used in support of the design thinking: from the mid-19th century onwards, engineering increasingly has utilized a calculus-algebraic oriented understanding grounded in the numerical. Architecture, in contrast, has stayed within a historic line of constructive-visual of the geometrical. With the uprising of digital tools and methods a convergence of these two traditions of mathematical thinking can be observed. This session aims at exploring the design thinking that corresponds to this merging of the numerical and geometrical and its potential for a productive interaction between the disciplines of engineering and architecture.

Novel approaches to experimental design and production of Timber- and Bio-based structures and architecture  

Andreas Falk

KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Stockholm, Sweden

Günter H. Filz

Aaalto University

Espoo, Finland

With the development of tools and procedures for design and production, and the interlinking of these tools for enhanced compatibility and overall performance, timber is currently revealing a big potential in structures and architecture. Not only is this demonstrated in the already seen high-risers but also in the increased application for complicated and or complex geometries and new typologies. This special session aims at presenting and discussing experiences of this potential and how it can be released and developed as a resource efficient, environmentally benign form of construction enabling sustainable buildings both low-cost and unique ones.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 12.12.2018