Realizing formal and functional complexity for structurally dynamic systems in rapid computational means: Computational methodology based on particle systems for complex tension-active form generation

Author(s): Ahlquist S, Menges A


Surface articulation provides a geometric vehicle to accomplish specific adaptation to conditions of materiality and spatiality. With tension-formed prestressed cable and textile systems, articulation is a matter of simultaneously arranging geometry and structure. The notion of a “deep surface” provides depth in a tension-active system in the arrangement of multiple membrane layers, with a resulting capacity for sophistication in the modulation of climatic performance. This imagines a structural and spatial system comprised of cellular elements of varying depth maintaining, through interdependent tensioned elements, structural continuity. To manage the formulation of such complex integrated systems, the design process must work first with geometric instances guided by the rules of surfaces formed by the application of tension, and second, in a generative manner functioning rapidly; this being captured within the initial stages of architectural design formulation. Specifically, this methodology works with a constrained computational design environment that reflects the basic behaviors and rules of tension-active forms.

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Author informationAuthors and AffiliationsAuthorsSean AhlquistView author publicationsProf. Achim MengesView author publications Editor informationEditors and Affiliations Rights and permissions

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Ahlquist, S., Menges, A. (2010). Realizing Formal and Functional Complexity for Structurally Dynamic Systems in Rapid Computational Means: Computational Methodology based on Particle Systems for Complex Tension-Active Form Generation . In: Ceccato, C., Hesselgren, L., Pauly, M., Pottmann, H., Wallner, J. (eds) Advances in Architectural Geometry 2010. Springer, Vienna.

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