“How virtual becomes real” 2015

“How virtual becomes real” 2015

“How virtual becomes real” 2015

This 5th edition of “How virtual becomes real” continues the research into the applications of form-resistant structures, through working methods that seek to synthesise the virtual and the real by means of both physical form-finding and numerical/digital technologies (Karamba3d.com has just published a selection of this semester projects).

The studio begins with a week of exercises on the design of timber gridshells. The students are challenged to find variations of structural forms first using physical models, and then with numerical simulations (with Karamba and Kangaroo for Grasshopper). Technology and construction aspects are highlighted throughout the activity.

During the second week, the students are called to experiment with form-finding through inflation. Our precedents are related to Frei Otto’s and Dante Bini’s works. Again, physical models are combined with numerical tools to explore form variations.

After 4 weeks of preparation, the students have to design aWellness centre in Bologna (a brief from the Young Architects Competition 2015). Fabrication techniques, optimisation strategies and other aspects of the design of shell and gridshell structures are learned while designing. Some of the final results are posted below, together with the exhibition picture.


(Model by Siavash Malek)


(Model by Stipe Rezo)


Project and optimisation by Patrick Bullen


Final MSD Exhibition

Studio Leaders: Alberto Pugnale and Louis Gadd