Assembly One Pavilion / Yale School of Architecture Students

© Chris Morgan Photography’
The Yale ‘Assembly One’ pavilion is the younger, smaller, more carefree sister to Yale’s building project – a 40-year old tradition in which first-year students design and building a house. It is the product of a seminar and design studio in which students focused on alternative ways in which contemporary buildings can come together and the potential architectural effects computational and material techniques can offer. The ‘Assembly One’ pavilion is designed to act as an information center for New Haven’s summer International Festival of Arts and Ideas and therefore was developed with the following characteristics in mind: dynamism, visual transparency and visual density.
© Chris Morgan Photography

Dynamism: The structure is suited to a performance festival – solid and massive from one angle, lightweight and almost entirely porous from another, it alternately hides and reveals its contents.
Visual Transparency: Constructed from thin  sheets, the pavilion opens up on two sides for ventilation and security, focusing views toward the festival’s main stage.
Visual Density: Over 1000 panels create shifting effects of reflection and color as visitors move around the pavilion, creating less of a timeless image of shelter than an unstable, engaging heart of the festival.

“We treated the tenets of digital fabrication as basic assumptions – our ability to efficiently produce variable and unique components and the cultural implications of moving beyond standardized manufacturing. But, we were less concerned with the uniqueness of the objects we created than on the novel types of tectonic expression they allowed.”The Festival Pavilion was designed and built by  students.

Project Founders: David Bench, Zac Heaps, Jacqueline Ho, Eric Zahn
Project Managers: Jacqueline Ho, Amy Mielke
Design & Fabrication: John Taylor Bachman, Nicholas Hunt, Seema Kairam, John Lacy, Veer Nanavatty
Design: Rob Bundy, Raven Hardison, Matt Hettler
Faculty advisor: Brennan Buck
Assistant: Teoman Ayas
Consultant: Matthew Clark of Arup, New York

Generous support was provided by Assa Abloy, the Yale Graduate and Professional Student Senate, and the Yale School of Architecture. The Pavilion is on view on the New Haven Green until the end of June.
© Chris Morgan Photography

Catalan Free-form Vault design from ETH Zurich

A stunning Catalan free-form vault has been designed and build by students during a one week workshop organised by Prof. Deplazes and Prof. Block from ETH Zurich. RhinoVAULT has been used for the design of the complex compression-only shape. For details, visit the homepage of the BLOCK Research Group.


The IoA SPRING CHALLENGE event was an international design workshop intended for architecture students to explore integrated digital design and fabrication tools.

Architectural Design is taught at this university as an integrated, multidisciplinary process. Following this tradition, the design process was enriched with structural testing of parametric models in Karamba, a structural analysis plugin for Grasshopper. The handling of virtual simulation methods in the fields of parametric and digital production was the primary focus of the workshop. This week long intense workshop did result in a full scale built structure.

Format & Output

The Challenge Program was organized as a six day event with 22 international students and 6 tutors. Introduction to Rhino/Grasshopper/Karamba was followed by project design development and daily reviews of student group projects which entered into a competition mode. The selected project was fabricated and assembled as a group effort. The event closed with an exhibition and presentation with guests. The output was a parametrically designed and digitally produced human scale structure fabricated out of corrugated cardboard.

We’d Wish such workshops were organized here in India too.. 

Students: Shota Tsikoliya, Lenka Januskova, Clemens Conditt, Tu?gen Kukul, Maria Smigielska, Ceren Yönetim, Maciej Chmara, Oana Bogatan, Djordje Stanojevic, Rene Meszarits, Andreas Quast, Marco Pizzichemi, Zhenyu Yan, Ji?í Vítek, Johanna Jõekalda, Raouf M. Abdelnabi, Özlem Altun, Tadeas Klaban, Abraham Fung, Artur Staškevitš, Benjamin Ennenmoser, Roberto Naboni

Instructors: Andrei Gheorghe, Bence Pap, Trevor Pat, Irina Bogdan, Clemens Preisinger, Moritz Heimrath

Location: University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria

Status: Student Workshop

Year: Spring 2012

Semester teaching at School of Architecture at Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University, Patan. 01 / 2011

I had the good fortune of teaching a semester of lightweight structures at HNGU, Patan. The students made models and explored various aspects of tensile structures, grid structures, geodesic and space frame structures. some of their explorations are in images below. 
Sculpture with ropes

Attention to little details

vertical forms too..
The sculpture at the turn-about

Some other explorations

Two day IPSA Rajkot workshop 25 / 06 / 2010

A two day workshop was organised by IPSA, Rajkot for introducing students to concepts and applications of tensile structures. This workshop though short on time, was able to cover basic design aspects as the form-finding of such anti-clastic shapes and take them through basic systems of tensile structure. 

Poster for the workshop
Double cone structure
Bunching of fabric at the center. (it even has reinforcement sir!!!)

Three continuous cones.

KRVIA (Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi, Mumbai) workshop with Ferrari

Teaching at KRVIA has been an excellent opportunity to interact with some very interested and inspired students. It was a three day workshop in which students learnt the basics, soap bubble modeling, stocking modelling, along with a healthy dose of tensile structures around the world and in India and how their detailing, engineering and conceptualization is done. There was a presentation by Ravi Mehta of Ferrari, who showed them the different types of fabrics and their applications around the world and in India. The Institute was also very interested in installing a prototype of a tensile structure and a special space was allocated near the canteen to install the same. Ferrari graciously supported the entire workshop. 
The students got a HANDS – ON experience at not only modeling designs using various software but also could extend these experiences to tangible solutions by putting up a structure of decent size to understand the forces that play in developing the form of the structure and the detailing involved about them. Some photographs of the workshop. 
Eager students await opening of the fabric

The “SMILEY” plate

And the other plate….

Students trying their hand at cut-outs.

Fixing details and laying out the cables in the fabric

Pretty maids – all in a row..

Fixing cables and the corner details

With a lil’ help from my friends…

And.. we are almost there…

Trampoline? Testing..? Just having fun… 

And some more fun… 

Folding Workshop at CEPT, Ahmedabad – 05/09/2004

Some Models and explorations by students of the Fold ability workshop conducted at CEPT as a part of the foundation day celebration at School of interior design. First day was introducing concepts of folding structures, second day was devoted to making models… on the third day students made working prototypes.

Rajkot Workshop 26-02-2005

One of the first workshops that we took on tensile structures at IPSA rajkot. This one was to show them how tensile structures work with soap bubble models and using stockings. Students were guided in making shapes to describe such structures. The final project was to work out structures for a helipad and to cover the offices around the helipad. A three day workshop.