Simulation for Design

Simulation for Design

Current methods for simulation assume single scale engagement across separate phases and exclude the simulation of material and fabrication processes. Recent research identifies new opportunities for simulation to link the design of material with the design of structures. This creates new implications for material deployment that necessitate new methods for analysing, specifying and controlling fabrication.

The topic is tackled in the innochain Workpackage 4, which will examine how simulation can be used as a means to cross between scales and synthesise material performances with machine-driven processes.

The Workpackage is lead by the KTH School of Architecture.

research projects


Author: Paul Poinet

Industrial Partners: Buro Happold, designtoproduction. Investigating multi scale modelling principles for architectural design. Multi-scale modelling is an interdisciplinary research topic in which systems are modelled at multiple scales and interfaced enabling the modelling of low scale systems to parametrisise and inform high scale systems . The project investigates multi scalar modelling as a means to support iterative build-up of knowledge in the design process in which highly specified material simulations interface with open ended design models. read more

Keywords: · Multi Scalar Modelling · simulation · timber


Author: Efilena Baseta

Load bearing structures generally show preferred directions for channelling internal forces that depend on geometry and prevailing support conditions (anisotropy). Current material practice does not take advantage of anisotropic material properties. read more



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: Vasily Sitnikov

The PhD student will investigate and develop methods for the simulation of formwork in architecture. This will entail research into the transformation between states of fluidity and solidity germane to casting, the dynamic relationship between casting material, formwork and environmental factors, and the architectural possibilities and consequences. read more

Keywords: · Buro Huppold · concrete casting · digital simulation · KTH · material performance · nonrepetitive ‎fabrication


Author: Giulio Brugnaro

This project investigates real-time and real-matter feedback in robotic manufacturing for design. read more

Keywords: · carving · craftsmanship · fabrication · Machine Learning · robotics

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



Digital Design & Full Scale Fabrication Course – IoA

Author: Efilena Baseta

DYNAMIC ACTIVE BENDING STRUCTURES “The form is a system which organises itself in the presences of both internal and external forces and these organizations can shape patterns traced through mathematical rules.”D’ Arcy Thompson In this framework, this 5-days course focuses on the creation of controllable, dynamic, active-bending timber sctructures, using loads as the actuators. The... read more


Open Lecture TU Graz : Adaptive structures and material performance

Author: Efilena Baseta

This week Efilena Baseta visited TU Graz as a jury member of the midterm presentation of the studio ”Break it till you Make it” led by Urs Hirschberg. The students focus on experimenting on various materialities of wood with the final goal of building an 1:1  info point. After the reviews followed the open lecture on ”Adaptive Structures and... read more


Blumer Lehmann secondment

Author: Efilena Baseta

          The last months I have been working on scaling up the micro-scalar (1 dm) dynamic behaviour of wood veneer into macroscalar dynamic wooden structures (10m) exploring active bending techniques. From the 6th till the 18th of November  I conducted my secondment in Blumer Lehman in Gossau, Switzerland with the aim to construct... read more


8th International Conference on Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composites in Civil Engineering

Author: James Solly

This post is somewhat late, but taking advantage of the new Innochain data repository, here is the paper presented at CICE 2016 by James Solly (ESR08) on behalf of his co-authors Professor Jan Knippers and researchers Valentin Koslowski and Timo Fildhuth. Additionally, the full proceedings of CICE can be found here: although they... read more


Acadia 2017, Boston: Paper Presented on the ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2016/2017

Author: James Solly

Acadia 2017 James (ESR08) and Sam (ESR12) both attended the Acadia 2017 “Disciplines and Disruption” Conference at MIT in Boston, 2nd-4th November 2017. During the conference, our colleagues from the ICD (Institute of Computational Design and Construction) presented the paper: Multi-Machine Fabrication: An Integrative Design Process Utilising an Autonomous UAV and Industrial Robots for the... read more

Keywords: · CFRP · Coreless Fibre Winding · GFRP · itke


Author: Evy Slabbinck

Unlike conventional cable-nets that typically use evenly spaced cables laid out in an orthogonal-grid, introducing irregular patterns into the form-finding process of cable structures enables designs with non-directional grids and varying cable concentration. read more

Keywords: · cable-net · form-finding · topology · voronoi