Seminars at the Faculty of Informatics

Geometric Computing for Freeform Architecture

The Faculty of Informatics is pleased to announce a seminar given by Helmut Pottmann
DATE: Thursday, May 5th, 2011
PLACE: USI Università della Svizzera italiana, room SI-006, Black building (Via G. Buffi 13)
TIME: 17.30

Freeform surfaces play an increasingly important role in contemporary architecture. While digital models are easily created, the actual fabrication and construction of architectural freeform structures remains a challenge. In order to make a freeform design realizable, an optimization process known as rationalization has to be applied. This means its decomposition into smaller parts, thereby meeting two competing objectives: feasibility, and consistency with the designer's intentions. Mostly rationalization replaces smooth surfaces (possibly with an additional curve network on them) by other structures like meshes with special properties. The guiding thought in all considerations is the efficient manufacturing of the surface parts and their respective necessary supporting/connecting elements. Both simple geometry and repetition of elements contribute to this goal of efficiency. We report on recent advances in this new direction of Geometric Computing and discuss ongoing research on fabrication-aware design through shape space exploration, which unifies shape design and rationalization. While motivated by architecture, fabrication-aware design or design exploration is expected to be of great interest in other applications as well.

Helmut Pottmann is the director of the Geometric Modeling and Scientific Visualization Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. Prior to joining KAUST he has been a professor of geometry at Vienna University of Technology and head of the 'Geometric Modeling and Industrial Geometry' research group. His research interests are in Applied Geometry and Visual Computing, in particular in Geometric Modeling, Geometry Processing and most recently in Geometric Computing for Architecture and Manufacturing. He is a co-founder of the company Evolute, which performs research, software development and consulting, with a focus on geometric computing for architecture and related manufacturing technologies.

HOST: Prof. Kai Hormann

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