Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design, University of Stuttgart

Stuttgart, Germany

The Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) based at the University of Stuttgart is a leading institute in the research of innovative structural systems and high performance materials. The Institute is composed by an interdisciplinary group of 14 researchers working in a highly synergic environment. ITKE engages in research and teaching with new materials and efficient structures for architecture. The Institute is highly interdisciplinary, employing engineers and architects, bridging the gap between architecture and structural engineering. The focus of research activities is on building with polymers, textiles and glass. Issues of design and material implementation and the planning and optimization process are central to the Institute’s research.


Researchers: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan Knippers


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Jan Knippers

Jan Knippers, ITKE

ITKE / Professor / Dr.-Ing.

Jan Knippers specialises in complex parametrical generated structures for roofs and façades, as well as the use of innovative materials such as glass-fibre reinforced polymers. Since 2000 Jan Knippers is head of the Institute for Building Structures and Structural Design (itke) at the University of Stuttgart and involved in many research projects on fiber based materials and biomimetics in architecture. He is also… read more

Evy Laura Maurice Slabbinck


itke / ESR01- Multiple states of equilibrium for bending-active (tensile) structures

Evy Laura Maurice Slabbinck is a Research Associate and tutor at the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design at the University of Stuttgart. She obtained the degree “Master of Science in Architectural Engineering” at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2014, and also holds a Master of Science… read more

James Solly

james solly


James Solly is a Research Associate and tutor at the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (itke) ( at the University of Stuttgart.
He completed a Master’s in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford in 2008 before working with Ramboll UK and BuroHappold Engineering until 2015 on the design and realisation of computationally or geometrically complex… read more

Saman Saffarian



Saman Saffarian is a Research Associate at the Institute for Building Structures and Structural Design ( itke ) at the University of Stuttgart.

He holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna ( Universität für Angewandte[JS1] Kunst Wien ) and a Master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from Brno University… read more


research projects


Author: Evy Slabbinck

Bending-active tensile (BAT) structures introduce a recently new integrative solution into the field of lightweight architecture. This combination of bending-active elements with a tensile element generates challenges for designers due to the complexity in the necessary integrated form-finding and analysis simulations combined with the reciprocal equilibrium, as well as the high level of detail required in fabrication and erection of these form-active structures. These BAT structures remain a challenge, but current developments in CAD and CAE allow designers to engage in that complexity and generate new architectural and structural possibilities in simulating and generating geometry. The research aims to develop an integrated process interface from design to analysis for BAT structures and to explore its potential for architectural design culture. read more

Keywords: · analysis · bending-active · design · hybrid · innovation · membrane


Author: James Solly

Current practice uses digital fabrication technologies to optimise standardised fabrication processes. Often accompanied by trial-and-error approaches, the limits of digital fabrication methods are quickly reached without a thorough understanding of the strength and limits of the forming processes and the materials. read more

Keywords: · CFRP · Coreless Filament Winding · ESR08 · GFRP · itke · Robotic · Stuttgart


Author: Saman Saffarian

Current practices emphasise the stiffness of material to ensure structural performance. Building systems such as louvers or other adjustable shading systems and employ mechanical means to activate change. read more

Keywords: · Climate Adaptive Building Envelopes · Kinetic Elastic Facade · Material Gradient FRP

German Design Award 2018

Author: James Solly

The Elytra Filament Pavilion has received the German Design Award 2018 in the Architecture Category. Innochain researcher James Solly (ESR08) was a member of the multidiscplinary team of engineers and architects from the ITKE and ICD at the University of Stuttgart who designed and realised this large-scale technology demonstrator. The German Design Award is conferred... read more