ACADIA 2013 at the University of Waterloo

Sean Ahlquist presented his research "Frameworks for Computational Design of Textile Micro-Architectures and Material Behavior in Forming Complex Force-Active Structures" at the ACADIA 2013 Conference: Adaptive Architecture at the University of Waterloo on 25 October 2013.


Material behavior can be defined as the confluence of associative rules, contextual pressures and constraints of materialization. In more general terms, it can be parameterized as topologies, forces and materiality. Forming behavior means resolving the intricate matrix of deterministic and indeterministic factors that comprise and interrelate each subset of these material-inherent conditions. This requires a concise design framework which accumulates the confluent behavior through successive and cyclical exchange of multiple design modes, rather than through a single design environment or set of prescribed procedures. This paper unfolds a sequencing of individual methods as part of a larger design framework, described through the development of a series of complex hybrid-structure material morphologies. The “hybrid” nature reflects the integration of multiple force-active structural concepts within a single continuous material system, devising both self-organized yet highly articulated spatial conditions. This leads primarily to the development of what is termed a “textile hybrid” system: an equilibrium state of tensile surfaces and bending-active meshes. The research described in this paper looks to expose the structure of the textile as an indeterministic design parameter, where its architecture can be manipulated as means for exploring and differentiating behavior. This is done through experimentation with weft-knitting technologies, in which the variability of individual knit logics is instrumentalized for simultaneously articulating and structuring form. Such relationships are shown through an installation constructed at the ggggallery in Copenhagen, Denmark.


Ahlquist, S. and Menges, A.: 2013, Frameworks for Computational Design of Textile Micro-Architectures and Material Behavior in Forming Complex Force-Active Structures. In: Beasley, P., Khan, O. and Stacey, M. (eds.) ACADIA 13: Adaptive Architecture Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) Cambridge, October 2013, pp. 281-292. (online)