VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM TO PRESENT ENGINEERING SEASON INCLUDING AN INSTALLATION BY ACHIM MENGES WITH JAN KNIPPERS

A site specific installation inspired by nature and fabricated by robots will be the highlight of the V&A’s first ever Engineering Season. The V&A Engineering Season will highlight the importance of engineering in our daily lives and consider engineers as the ‘unsung heroes’ of design, who play a vital and creative role in the creation of our built environment.

A newly-commissioned Garden installation by experimental architect Achim Menges with Moritz Dörstelmann, structural engineer Jan Knippers and climate engineer Thomas Auer will launch the Season. Their first ever public commission in the UK, Elytra Filament Pavilion will explore the impact of emerging robotic technologies on architectural design, engineering and making. Inspired by a lightweight construction principle found in nature, the fibrous structures of the forewing shells of flying beetles known as elytra, the Pavilion will be an undulating canopy of tightly-woven carbon fibre cells created using a novel robotic production process. The Pavilion will grow over the course of the V&A Engineering Season in response to data on structural behaviour and patterns of inhabitation of the Garden that will be captured by realtime sensors in its canopy fibres. At select moments, visitors will have the opportunity to witness the Pavilion’s construction live throughout the Season as new cells are fabricated insitu by a Kuka robot.

Martin Roth, Director of the V&A said: “We may not know it, but engineers organise the world we live in. Our lives are reliant on visible and invisible systems conceived, built, run or facilitated by the many disciplines of contemporary engineering. The V&A Engineering Season is a clear statement in our renewed interest in industrial design and the engineer. It builds on our industrial design heritage and reflects the crucial role of engineering in the development of the V&A. Through collaborating with pioneering engineers and architects, such as Achim Menges and progressive consultancies such as Arup, the season will celebrate the wonder and importance of engineering in our lives.”

View the full press release here:

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ELYTRA – FILAMENT PAVILION

Achim Menges with Moritz Dörstelmann
ICD – Institute for Computational Design, University of Stuttgart
Achim Menges Architect, Frankfurt
Team also includes: Marshall Prado, Dylan Wood, Aikaterini Papadimitriou, Niccolo Dambrosio, Roberto Naboni, Daniel Reist, Nikolaos Xenos, Thu Nguyen, Pedro Giachini, Christian Arias, Andre Kauffman

Jan Knippers
ITKE – Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design, University of Stuttgart
Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering, Stuttgart, New York
Team also includes: Valentin Koslowski, James Solly, Thiemo Fildhuth

Thomas Auer
Transsolar Climate Engineering, Stuttgart
Building Technology and Climate Responsive Design, TU München
Team also includes: Elmira Reisi, Boris Plotnikov

Commission:
Victoria & Albert Museum, London 2016

Funding:

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Getty Lab
Kuka Roboter GmbH + Kuka Robotics UK Ltd
SGL Carbon SE
Hexion
Covestro AG
FBGS International NV
Arnold AG
PFEIFER Seil- und Hebetechnik GmbH
Stahlbau Wendeler GmbH + Co. KG
Lange+Ritter GmbH
STILL GmbH