The final installation is a 1:1 hanged gridshell structure which has been fabricated flat and has been self-organized into a doubly curved surface due to the applied loads. The logic of its formation lies on the internal geometrical configurations of the linear elements.


“The form is a system which organises itself in the presences of both internal and external forces and these organizations can shape patterns traced through mathematical rules.”
D’ Arcy Thompson

In this framework, this 5-days course focuses on the creation of controllable, dynamic, bending-active timber structures, using loads as the actuators. The participants experimented with linear wooden elements (laths), where the milled geometry between them defines the overall deformation of the system. The course combines digital simulations of form finding (Kangaroo) and structural analysis (Karamba) with physical prototypes, fabricated by robotic milling.


What if architecture was responsive to its surroundings, like living beings, and not a foreign body that cannot evolve with it? In this framework, which would be the design principles of this kind of architecture and from which materials would it be made?

Based on the above question, the research investigates ways to create macroscalar kinetic architecture, whose behavior derives from the properties of its materials. More specifically it focuses on designing a new, lightweight construction system which considers structural elements as soft actuators that adapt to stimuli from the surroundings. It focuses on passive, shape-shifting material systems eliminating the use of electronics and mechanical parts. Respectively, by creating hierarchical structural material systems controlled actuation can be achieved in similar ways as in plants, where the hierarchy of the parts, is proved to be the driving force of a programmed deformation.


The process of translating data into spatial transformations will be coded in digital tools, based on Rhino/ Grasshopper with plugins such as Kangaroo and Karamba that will help simulating deformations and structural behaviors. During this process codes will be translated into physical prototypes digitally fabricated, optimizing design criteria with fabrication strategies and structural consideration.


Dynamic active bending
Wood anisotropy
Structural analysis
Form Finding
Robotic Fabrication
1:1 interactive installation



Day 1 / monday 9:00 – 16:00
Introduction to adaptive architecture and active bending wooden structures.
Introduction to the task and the research behind it.
Introduction to form finding algorithms (Kangaroo Tutorial) and design exercise.
Introduction to robotic fabrication.

Day 2 / tuesday 9:00 – 16:00
Introduction to wood anisotropy and physics of beam bending.
Introduction to structural analysis (Karamba tutorial) and structural exercise.
Group division to specific tasks (The group will be divided into teams focusing on different aspects of the project such as holistic design, joint details, milling files and fabrication).


Day 3 / wednesday 9:00 – 16:00
Robotic fabrication of elements, preparation for the installation.

Day 4 / thursday 9:00 – 16:00
Robotic fabrication of elements, preparation for the installation.

Day 5 / friday 9:00 – 16:00
Robotic fabrication of elements, assemblage and final installation

Digital Design and Full Scale Fabrication ’17
// Controlled Bending Active Structures

14-19  of December  2017

Institute of Architecture (IoA)
University of Applied Arts in Vienna (Angewandte)

Institute of Architecture (IoA) – University of Applied Arts in Vienna (Angewandte)
InnoChain network
Karamba 3d
Angewandte Robotic Lab

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, InnoChain, H2020-MSCA-ITN-2014

PhD Researcher: Efilena Baseta
Supervisor: Klaus Bollinger
Advisor: Clemens Preisinger

Blumer Lehmann

Efilena Baseta, Julian Heinen, Afshin Koupaei

Afshin Koupaei, Jonathan Paljor, Efilena Baseta


Efilena Baseta
Efilena is an architect engineer, studied in the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), with a Master degree in Advanced Architecture from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). Having developed several interactive projects, her current interest lies in exploring material properties in order to create real time responsive architectural structures. She has led several workshops internationally and she is currently an InnoChain PhD candidate in the Institute of Architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna on the topic of ”Simulating controlled bending-active structures”.

Andrei Gheorghe
Andrei Gheorghe completed a Master in Architecture degree as a Fulbright student at Harvard University with distinction. In 2009 he received the Harvard GSD Digital Design Prize. He has been teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, SCIARC Los Angeles, GSD Harvard Career Discovery Program as well as Portland State University, and has gathered multiple years of professional experience as an architect in offices such as Jakob+MacFarlane Paris and FOA London. Andrei is cofounder of the platform IDDEA, developing integrated design concepts in multiple scales. The spectrum of the projects range from small scale design prototypes, interactive urban furniture for the city of Vienna as well as masterplans and urban proposals in Austria and abroad.

Philipp Hornung
Philipp Hornung studied architecture at the Georg-Simon-Ohm University in Nuremberg and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna at the master class of Zaha Hadid, Greg Lynn and Wolf Prix, where he received his degree with distinction. He gained experience at numerous international renowned architectural design offices such as Graft Architects and Coop Himmelb(l)au. Since 2014 he has been a research assistant at the research project ‘Robotic Woodcraft’ at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. His expertise is in the fields of parametric design and robotic fabrication.


Adrian Herk
Afshin Koupaei
Aleksandra Belitskaja
Alex Ahmad
Alexandra Moisi
Andrej Strieženec
Anna Tuzova
Ben James
Charlotte Krause

David Rüßkamp
Jan Kováříček
Jelinek Johanna
Jonghoon Kim
Julian Heinen
Kaspar Ehrhardt
Leonie Eitzenberger
Ludmila Janigova
Madeleine Malle

Michael Tingen
Minho Hong
Polina Korochkova
Rudolf Neumerkel
Sadi Özdemir
Shaun Mccallum
Toms Kampars
Zarina Belousova


The workshop is going to take place in the Institute of Architecture (IoA) of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (Angewandte), in the department of Building Construction (Baukonstruktion).