Focus Scientific Research

Algorithmic Generation of Complex Space Frames

Klaus Bollinger, Arne Hofmann. Clemens Preisinger

Institute of Architecture, Structural Design

In this research the generation of complex space frames by the means of algorithmic processes is investigated and the impact and the relevance for architecture and structural engineering estimated.
The contemporary methods of structural design are based on a systemization of structures, which has been initiated by Karl Culmann in the middle of the 19th century. In this way structures with a high degree of effectiveness, which have a high degree of regularity, can be developed. Today the desire for free form design and therefore the need to design irregular structures can be viewed in built projects, as well as at architecture schools.
To develop irregular structures that feature optimized load bearing capacities, the usage of existing design methods are limited due to an approach based on reductionism. Here is a lack between the requirements and claims on the part of architecture and civil engineering and the tools available.
Non regular structures that have intrinsic load bearing capacities are complex. To evolve complex structures it is necessary to regard not only the whole system, but even more the relationship and the interaction of the system’s particles.
Modern Hard- and Software allow calculating and evaluating load bearing capacities of almost every structure in short time. It is possible to analyse a great many of alternative solutions of a system and develop optimized systems iteratively. Therefore structures, that feature emergent load bearing capabilities, can be generated algorithmically and are not a priori based on a fixed system.
The goal of the research project is to analyse new and innovative approaches to develop irregular and at the same time effective structures. Its practical aim is not only the generation of optimal structures, but the integration of construction principles that ensures an inbuilt practicability.