Development of integrative architectural design approaches and computational design tools for adaptive lightweight constructions and digital fabrication

This project is part of the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 1244 “Adaptive Building Skins and Structures for the Built Environment of Tomorrow”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

A fundamental challenge is that the established architectural planning process is linear and a first draft developed by the architect can only be successively refined, developed constructively and realized in the later planning phases in cooperation with experts like structural engineers. The linearity and hierarchy of the existing process makes it more difficult to integrate adaptivity into the necessary planning, structural, structural-physical, mechanic and mechatronic considerations in the early design decisions. The existing methods and approaches of architectural planning can therefore only be conditionally applied to adaptive structures, because they cannot fulfil the fundamentally interdisciplinary character right from the start. The essential requirement for the development of new methods and procedures for adaptive architecture is to enable an integrative planning right from the beginning. Therefore, the necessary computer-based planning methods and procedures need to be part of a cyclical planning process, in contrast to the digital chain, that enables iterative planning in several feedback loops. The planning loops are essential for the reintegration of information and solutions form experts during the most important design phase.


Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD), University of Stuttgart

Prof. Achim Menges (Associated Scientist)

Frederik Ernst


German Research Foundation (DFG)

External Links