Dialectic form finding of structurally integrated adaptive structures

L. Rhode-Barbarigos, V. Charpentier, S. Adriaenssens, O. Baverel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Structural engineering, prompted by advances in mechanics and computing as well as design principles such as sustainability and resilience, is evolving towards adaptive structures. Adaptive structures are structures that use active components to change shape and properties in response to their environment and/or to their users’ desires. Form-found structures, such as tensegrity and shell structures, can be designed to accommodate such changes within their structural behavior. Dialectic form finding is an extension of the traditional form-finding process integrating performance-related constraints and criteria in the search of a geometry in static equilibrium. Two examples of dialectic form-found structurally integrated adaptive structures are presented. The first example is a shape-shifting tensegrity-inspired structure, while the second example is a shapeshifting shell structure. Both systems are designed to explore elastic deformations for shape changes reducing actuation requirements and highlighting the potential of the proposed method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-454
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 6 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Engineering


  • Adaptive structures
  • Analysis
  • Form-Finding
  • Shape-Changing
  • Shell
  • Tensegrity


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