Spatial Efficiency Now: Work from the Polyhedral Structures Laboratory at Penn

October 4, 2019 | DesignPhiladelphia, 2019 Festival


This exhibition brings together some of ongoing design research projects at the Polyhedral Structures Laboratory (PSL) at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. Each work on display is a unique design response to specific conditions of forces being brought into equilibrium. These examples illustrate an unconventional design method that introduces the inclusion of force equilibrium at the very early stages of design. With this method, a designer can precisely control the geometry of the flow of forces in a three-dimensional space to design architectural structures.


PSL is an interdisciplinary research center working at the intersection of architecture, structural engineering, computer science, mathematics, and material science to bridge the gap between engineering and design. The works in this exhibition were designed using new methods of 3D Graphics Statics developed by the Weitzman’s School’s Assistant Professor of Architecture Dr. Masoud Akbarzadeh. PSL has developed a software based on this research called Polyframe Beta, a geometry-based, structural form-finding plugin for Rhinoceros3d. This tool allows architects and structural designers to explore a variety of unconventional spatial structural forms, accessing possibilities that they could not discover or design before. PSL is part of the Advanced Research and Innovation Lab in the Department of Architecture.

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