7 Sustainable Form-active Structures. A design research methodology at two scales
This paper demonstrates how to relate a methodology to a specific kind of design research. The goal is to define a process that can be followed when architectural design research is focused on using geometry as a driving factor for sustainable strategies. The research aims to finda productive relation between phenomena in geometry and building methods that result in knowledge production that leads to building prototypes at full scale to test the proposed ideas. The presented case studies interrogate three areas of form-active structures, namely Folding along curves, Ribbon surfaces for bending active structures, and Inflatables with 2D to 3D transformations. The methodology relies on defining investigations at two scales, one to conduct exhaustive iterations via an ‘analog’ the second to test results at an architectural scale. The steps rely partially on the scientific method used in engineering and empirical methods to evaluate social and cultural questions.
Keywords: design research methodology, design research in architecture,form-active structures, form-finding, curved crease paperfolding, bending active surfaces, inflatable shells from planar patterns