Adaptive Structural Skins

Adaptive Structural Skins

arrow(a)synchronous streams

arrowcomputer vision & freeform construction

arrowdigital intuition & prediction


arrowprojections of reality

arrowrobotic foaming

arrowthermal reticulations

arrowtransformable strategies

arrowvolatile territories


Responsive Efficiency of Adaptive Structural Skins will explore how to form the load-bearing enclosure of a new generation of buildings through parametrization, analysis, optimization and form-finding.

In a world where the scale of human development has demonstrated its devastating effects on the natural environment and where imbalances in global economies have reduced opportunities for investment, efficiency in the use of natural and economic resources has become crucial in architectural practice. What if buildings could grow or shrink in size or change in shape to adapt to different programmatic or environmental requirements; what if they could be folded or rolled away to be easily transported and reused; what if this could be achieved through the engrained properties of the material they are made of, without the need for external energy or complex mechanical parts? Our interest is for low-energy, low-maintenance adaptive materials systems, rather that highly automated and mechanical systems. To directly address these challenges, the objective of our Cluster is to study, design and construct prototype Adaptive Structural Skins to form the load-bearing enclosure of a new generation of buildings.

The study will be conducted through their parametrization, analysis, optimization and form-finding to investigate kinematic and structural behaviours and automated production processes, as well as possible applications within different construction typologies.For this we have put together a team of structural engineers, AKTII P.ART led by Daniel Bosia; Daniel Piker writer of Kangaroo (a physics engine plugin) and Gregory Epps, RoboFold Founder (a metal folding fabrication system).

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Daniel Bosa, head of the PART Team at AKT, is a qualified Structural Engineer with an MSc in Engineering and a Master Degree in Architecture. He is professor of architecture and engineering and an expert in computational design. With his PART team of engineers, architects, mathematicians and computational designers, Daniel is developing new form-finding techniques and methods for digital fabrication in close collaboration with specialist fabricators, generating optimized and adaptable solutions. Formerly head of the AGU (Advanced Geometry Unit) at Arup, Daniel has over 15 years experience of working on complex, high-profile projects. Daniel has presented at various conferences including AAG, and Shape to Fabrication.


Daniel Piker is a researcher on the frontier of the use of computation in the design and realization of complex forms and structures. After studying architecture at the AA, he worked as part of the Advanced Geometry Unit at Arup, and later the Specialist Modelling Group at Foster+Partners. He has taught numerous studios and workshops (including the AADRL, and a cluster at Smartgeometry 2011) and presented his work at conferences around the world. He is the creator of the widely used form-finding physics engine 'Kangaroo', software which he continues to develop independently, as well as consulting and collaborating with a wide range of practices and researchers.


Gregory Epps is founder of RoboFold. Since graduating in 2007, with a Masters in Industrial Design Engineering at the Royal Collage of Art in London, he has found success with his own design consultancy Robofold, which focuses on machines that fold, software that can describe folding geometries, teaching design workshops about folding, and prototyping folded chairs, tables, lighting, and even building façade components. Gregory presented his work and ran workshops at various conferences including AAG/Paris, IaaC/Barcelona, Bartlett/UCL, TU Delft/RDM Campus, DFAB/ETH Zurich and DHUB/Barcelona. Gregory is a regular external juror for project reviews at the AA DRL (Design Research Laboratory).


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