Workshop 8: Structural Design with Force patterns

Example of a stadium roof design based on force patterns

See results from this workshop here.


Patrick Ole Ohlbrock (ETH, Schwartz) and Pierluigi D’Acunto (ETH, Schwartz)

Duration / Cost:

1 day (Saturday, September 10) / CHF 80 (CHF 40 for students)


64bit Windows computer
Rhino 5
Grasshopper Python

Maximum number of participants:



The aim of this one-day workshop is to introduce to the participants a novel design method for the generation of equilibrated structures in three-dimensions based on Combinatorial Equilibrium Modelling (CEM). CEM is an innovative approach to structural design grounded on 3D graphic statics and graph theory that allows the designers to take full advantage of the relationship between topology, form and structural behavior during the early stage of the design process. To make this approach operative, an interactive, computer-aided design tool has been developed within the 3D software environment McNeel Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. The tool enables the designers to work in real-time and in an intuitive way to generate pin-jointed force networks in space starting from customizable force patterns. In the first part of the workshop, the theoretical background of CEM will be introduced, including some basic elements of graphic statics and graph theory. A brief overview on the software environment McNeel Rhinoceros and a detailed explanation of the design tool will follow, together with a few short demonstrations of its main functionalities. In the second part of the workshop, the participants will be asked to develop a design exercise to get familiar with the CEM approach and the design tool. Specifically, the aim will be to design a canopy for the main courtyard of the HIL-building at ETH Zürich Hönggerberg.


Eventbrite - AAG2016


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