Out of Plane Exhibition at UC Berkeley

Dear friends, thank you all for joining me for the reception of the Out of Plane Exhibition at UC Berkeley.
Many thanks to all our sponsors who supported this exhibition various ways:
CARA – California Research Alliance by BASF, Autodesk Pier9SOFiSTiK AGUC Berkeley Department of ArchitectureUniversity of Stuttgart Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE)
Finally, my special gratitude also to all the collaborators and helpers who helped me pull this of and contributed to this show with their amazing work!
If you haven’t seen the exhibition yet, come check it out till November 25th.


Arch Exhibition – Out of Plane: Designing Flexible Structures

​​arch exhibition
Out of Plane 
Designing flexible structures
Nov. 2-25, 10am-5pm
108 Wurster Hall

This collaborative exhibition, Out of Plane: Designing flexible structures,  presents simulations, sketch models, and large-scale demonstrators of novel architectural forms and structures made possible through the creative exploration of bending and folding principles. It showcases the work of Asst. Prof. Simon Schleicher and students from the ITKE at the University of Stuttgart and UC Berkeley’s Department of Architecture. With modern computational design tools and innovative elastic materials available to architects today, deployable flexible structures are ever more possible. The exhibit takes on an integrative approach of physical form-finding and computer aided structural design: adopting mechanisms long avoided by engineers, such as the bending and buckling of thin plates as well as harnessing the idea of cross-connecting multiple layers, which taken by themselves may be too soft, but in their combination allow the construction of complex, lightweight, and strong structures. Highlighting an additional advantage to this research direction as it scales up in application: these structures were generated from simple planar parts, fabricated using conventional flatbed processes, and assembled without the necessity for skilled labor. The challenge at hand is in the design stage as it is difficult to anticipate the deformation from two-dimensional to curved geometries. The work presented here explores that challenge deeper and illustrates the elegant structural possibilities made possible through this innovative approach.

This exhibition is supported by: CARA – California Research Alliance by BASFSOFiSTiK AGUC Berkeley Department of ArchitectureUniversity of Stuttgart Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE)

The Out of Plane opening reception will be held on Monday, November 9 from 6-8pm.

Department of Architecture
College of Environmental Design
University of California, Berkeley
BerkeleyCA 94720–1820

Presentation at Design Modelling Symposium Copenhagen 2015


Simon Schleicher is going to present his collaborative research on “Form-finding and Design Potentials of Bending-active Plate Structures” at this year Design Modelling Symposium in Copenhagen 09/30/2015. For more information please visit https://www.design-modelling-symposium.de or check the conference book on “Modelling Behaviour” http://goo.gl/anVVih.

Schleicher, S., Rastetter, A., La Magna, R., Schönbrunner, A., Haberbosch, N., Knippers, J. (2015). Form-finding and Design Potentials of Bending-active Plate Structures, In: Modelling Behaviour, Design Modelling Symposium 2015, Ed. by Thomsen, M.R. et al., Springer, ISBN: 978-3-319-24206-4

Talk @MRS Conference in SF

Upcoming presentation at the MRS Conference on “Adaptive Architecture and Programmable Matter” in SF. Stop by if you are around. My presentation will be on Wednesday, April 8th at 2:30pm. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Student Presentation at Berkeley Circus 2015

Congratulations to my seminar students Jianjia, Yawen, Dairan, Shima, Eleanna, Kyle, and Andrew for presenting their exciting work at this years Berkeley Circus! And special thanks to our Distinguished Visiting Fellows Mary Comerio, Stefanie Hickl, Caitlin Brostrom, Mauricio Soto, Björn Hartmann, Guy Morrow, and David Friedman for your inspiring and constructive feedback, we will definitely build up on it for this semester’s “Bending and Folding Structures 2” seminar.


Lecture at Berkeley Circus 2015

If you happen to be near the College of Environmental Design (CED) on March 6th, stop by the Berkeley Circus. It will be a great opportunity to see current work of students and faculty. In addition, I will be giving a lecture at 12pm in room 104 Wurster Hall.

For more information visit the official website.


Course at UC Berkeley – Bending and Folding Structures 2

This follow-up course continues in explorations of the formal and structural possibilities of designing bending and folding structures. The flexural mechanisms and bending-active plate constructions that we envisioned during the winter semester will be pushed to the next level by developing a more holistic design approach, which aims to ensure their feasibility and practical implementation. This time, the class will have a closer look at topics like material bending, construction detailing, digital fabrication and assembly of elastically bent and curved-folded structures. We want to find out how these aspects could positively affect the functional­ morphological relationships that we discovered in our previously developed design proposals. The aim is to bundle different levels of information and to integrate this knowledge into one informed design framework. Once again, we will be using digital simulation tools like Kangaroo Physics and Sofistik® to playfully form-find and systematically optimize our structures. Additionally, we will pay particular attention to the structure’s unique material properties and fabrication constraints. We want to explore, for example, the possibility to control and gear the global deformation of a plate structure by superimposing a compliant texture that can adjust the structure’s flexibility locally. In this context, various manufacturing techniques could be used to generate differentiated structural patterns that have the power to affect the structure’s global and local compliance by creating zones of higher, lower, or even adaptable stiffness. The final goal for this class will be to show that our initial ideas for novel bending and folding structures can be pushed in scale to the size of functional mock-ups and larger scale demonstrations. The class is open for students who have already attended the previous course and are eager to further develop their ideas as well as to new students who are interested in technical implementation and digital fabrication.



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