Symposium on Geometry and Algorithms for Architecture and Design

Wednesday 17 June 2015, DTU Lyngby Campus, Building 101 Room S09

09:00-09:45 Johannes Wallner (TU Graz)
Geometric modeling of developables and curved-folding objects
We present a new approach to geometric modeling with developable surfaces and the design of curved-creased origami. We represent developables as splines and express the nonlinear conditions relating to developability and curved folds as quadratic equations. This allows us to utilize a constraint solver which may be described as energy-guided projection onto the constraint manifold, and which is fast enough for interactive modeling. This is joint work with Chengcheng Tang, Pengbo Bo, and Helmut Pottmann.

10:00-10:45  Stefan Sechelmann (TU Berlin)
VaryLab – Discrete surface optimization
We introduce VaryLab, a software developed at Berlin Institute of Technology by members of the geometry group. It is designed to be an extensible and modular tool for experiments with discrete surfaces in mathematics and applications in industrial geometry. We explain the capabilities and features targeted at designers and architects. We use recent examples to illustrate its potential, e.g., conformal remeshing, periodic hexagonal patterns. Attendees will be given a token for the online beta phase of the software available at

11:00-11:45  Angelos Mantzaflaris (RICAM)
Self-supporting structures and form-finding by means of isogeometric analysis
We explore NURBS-based geometric descriptions and isogeometric analysis in the design of self-supporting masonry surfaces. The mechanical behaviour of the surface is simulated by isogeometric analysis, acting on the B-spline description of the surface. Starting from given input model or boundary data we obtain smooth, equilibrated structures using only a fraction of the nodes required in standard mesh-based descriptions and thrust network analysis. This has a salubrious influence in all the stages of the computation, including the usually costly optimization phase which is needed for ensuring that the stress tensor is divergence-free. The resulting surface models possess high order smoothness without any additional effort, and can have general topology by adopting a multi-patch representation. We present several test cases that demonstrate that the method is robust, efficient and suitable for architectural design. This is work in progress together with Yang Xia, Bert Juettler and Wenping Wang.

13:15-14:00 Konrad Polthier (FU Berlin)
(Title: TBA)

14:30-15:15 Niels Aage (DTU)
Topology optimization as a form-finding tool.
Topology optimization can be described as a family of numerical methods aimed at finding optimal structural layouts and material distributions. The methods are all based on solving optimization problems constrained by partial differential equations, and the classic example problem is to find the stiffest structural layout that utilizes a prescribed amount of material while fulfilling the elasticity equations. Since its introduction in the late 1980’s, the procedure has become a crucial design tool in industries dealing with auto mobiles, aerospace, optical fibers and nano structures to name just a few. Recently, the method has started to receive an increasing attention from architectural and industrial designers who wants to use the method as a form-finding tool. In this presentation, the focus will be on the mathematics of the methods and how design problems from different branches of physics can be used to generate new and interesting shapes. Special attention will be on how to make the methods interactive and thus accessible to non-academics (see for more).

15:30-16:15 Alla Sheffer (UBC)
Sketching 3D: creating 3D models from 2D design sketches