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Responsive Architectural Fiber Composites

Lightweight  architecture  made  of  fiber  composites  where  bearing  is  done  through  the  surface  of material  itself  can  not  only  reduce  the  weight  of  buildings  but  also  offers  opportunities  for  spatial innovation  in  architecture.    Simply  working  with  the  textile  patterning  itself  can  change  what  that composite  can do  and respond  to.     In  addition, building  with soft  materials  opens  up  the  possibility  of incorporating through weaving, knitting or felting sensors and other responsive materials into the textile surface itself or using the natural transformative properties of fibers to communicate change to people.

Participants in this course will develop techniques for working with textiles for building that can be used in compression.  The  course  will  focus  on  ways  to  carry  loading  primarily  through  the  skin,  tissue  or surface  of  the  object.    The  course  will  be  an  opportunity  to  develop  and  experiment  with  fiber composites  used  for  furnishings  such  as  a   small  table or other object.    This  experiment  is  done  with  an  eye towards  developing  larger  lightweight  responsive building  components  such  as  building  skins  or  monocoque shelters.

Participants  will  leave  the  course  with  skills  to  lay  up  fabric  textile  composite  objects  including  woven carbon fiber, fiber glass,  3D knitted spacer fabrics, aramid, cotton canvas, felt and wood.   They will leave with the skills to CNC mill a mold for laying up a fabric composite.  Participants will be exposed to different ways in which to develop a fiber based composites, including those composites made with interior cores and fiber winding.  Participants will be exposed to different molding possibilities including transformable and reusable molds and be exposed to structural performance software to pre-test the designs of their fiber composite furnishing. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about and use the eco-friendly hardeners or matrices that have been recently developed.

PSU code: 
ARCH 497
Course duration: 
August, 2017
Course coordinator: 
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