Danes plant a knitted round tower in a Portugal square

May 1, 2017

Practicing architects and students at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (RDAF) Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation created an experimental structure to highlight a World Cultural Heritage Site in Guimaraes, Portugal. Hybrid Tower is made of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) rods in combination with a custom CNC-knit textile. The concept structure is …

What a web they weave—Uni Stutt’s robots string carbon & glass fibers overhead

Researchers and students are finding inspiration in the webs that moths spin. The collaborators are from the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE). The researchers and student have applied their efforts toward stretching the possibilities in digital construction with the aid of robotics and …

U.K. journal pays tribute to Zaha Hadid

British architecture magazine, The Architect’s Journal, has produced a 27-minute video to commemorate the work of Zaha Hadid, the iconoclastic Iraqi-born architect who died in early 2016. The video captures the breadth and width of Hadid’s work, from her first drawings and paintings produced while she was a student at England’s premiere training ground, the …

Catching water in a colorful way

Fabric funnels create an award-winning shade-water pavilion in New Orleans Students at the Tulane School of Architecture (TSA), New Orleans, La., have created the distinctive Hollygrove Shade-Water Pavilion that fulfills both aesthetic and practical requirements. The project, created through the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design (SCCD), provides a neighborhood gathering place while …

IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference: Testing Program 2017

April 3, 2017

At the 2017 Advanced Textiles Conference (ATC), four educational tracks—military, medical, smart fabrics and testing—will give attendees the latest news on the processes, products and profit potential in working with high-tech fabrics and fabrication techniques. The Advanced Textiles Conference, part of IFAI Expo 2017, will be held in New Orleans Sept. 26-29. This year’s ATC …

Reinforced hydrogels prove stronger than steel

April 1, 2017

Researchers at Hokkaido University in Japan have developed a new material that is 25 times tougher than glass fiber fabric, 100 times tougher than hydrogels, and five times stronger than carbon steel, based on the amount of energy needed to destroy them. “The fiber-reinforced hydrogels, with a 40 percent water level, are environmentally friendly,” says …

New addition at Iceland airport cuts the glare

Iceland’s international Keflavik Airport has added a new 4,700-square meter terminal, and designers are using a unique light-filtering façade that relies on fabric. Andersen & Sigurdsson Architects, Frederiksberg, Denmark, and Teikin Architects, Reykjavik, Iceland, specified Sefar aluminum-coated and copper-printed mesh fabrics to help screen out solar glare, reduce heat gain and mitigate HVAC loads. The …

Flexing their fabric muscles

Researchers at Linköping University and the University of Borås in Sweden have created what they’re calling “wearable artificial muscles” by coating fabric with electro active polymers that stretch and flex when an electric current is applied. The researchers layered the fibers in a way that increases the overall strength of the flexibility such that it …

Gaudi-inspired design includes interactive responses

Design studio SOFTlab, New York, N.Y., invited the collaboration of IBM’s supercomputer Watson to help design a unique installation for the Mobile World Congress recently held in Barcelona, Spain. The installation was suspended from the ceiling and involved attaching more than 3,000 aluminum “petals” that were covered with dichroic film to a network of aluminum …

New superconducting tape not just for wind turbines

The European research project Eurotape has developed a material that has the ability to channel electricity with no resistance and little power loss. The researchers are promoting the superconducting tape for use in wind energy applications, but it could be adapted to architectural use.