Archive for the 'Press' Category

Lecture @IaaC: Video online

Paper @CAD Journal, Special Issue on Material Ecology

Simon Schleicher’s latest research paper for the special issue of the CAD Journal on Material Ecologies has been published. The paper presents “A methodology for transferring principles of plant movements to elastic systems in architecture”. The paper is co-authored with Simon Poppinga and Thomas Speck of the Plant Biomechanics Group in Freiburg as well as Julian Lienhard and Jan Knippers of the ITKE.

Link to the paper:


Flectofin® wins Gips-Schüle-Forschungspreis 2013

Our Flectofin® Team just won the Gips-Schüle Forschungspreis which is endowed with € 40.000. Congratulations to the ITKE in Stuttgart, the Plant Biomechanics Group in Freiburg, and the ITV Denkendorf for their successful collaboration! Check out the latest video about the Flectofin®.

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Flectofin® Project Description

Flectofin wins International Bionic-Award 2012

The International Bionic-Award 2012 of the Schauenburg-Foundation has been awarded to the members of the Flectofin®-team. Julian Lienhard and Simon Schleicher from the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) – University of Stuttgart, Simon Poppinga and Tom Masselter from the Plant Biomechanics Group (PBG) of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, as well as Lena Müller and Julian Sartori from the Institute of Textile Technology and Process Engineering ITV Denkendorf received the 10.000€ prize in recognition for their outstanding work on the Flectofin® –  A novel sun-shading system for complex building facades that was inspired by the elastic deformation behavior of the Bird-Of-Paradise flower. The award ceremony was organized by the VDI and took place on October 26th, 2012 within the framework of the “Patents from Nature” Bionic Congress in Bremen/Germany.

Further Informations:

Flectofin Project Description (EN)
Short Project Description (DE)
Interview with Simon Schleicher and Julian Lienhard (DE)
VDI-Pressemitteilung (DE)
VDI-Announcement (EN)
Call for submissions: International Bionic-Award 2014


Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design ITKE
University of Stuttgart, Germany
Keplerstraße 11 D-70174 
Fon: +49-(0)711-685-83280

Flectofin@ Bayrisches Fernsehen

Two recent TV-documentaries report about our research on the Flectofin and other elastic shading systems. The first one was done by the BMBF – BIONA and can be seen here:

The other one will be on air upcoming Sunday 20.05.2012, 21:15 Uhr in Bayrisches Fernsehen

ITKE contributes to the Thematic Pavilion at the Expo 2012 Yeosu, South-Korea

Recently, the ITKE was given the opportunity to contribute with their research on elastic deformations and bio-inspired mechanisms for another project of an architectural scale – The Thematic Pavilion at the EXPO 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea. The design of the pavilion was done by soma architecture, Vienna. The institute helped in the development of the Kinetic Facade as part of Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering.

The Thematic Pavilion is one of the main buildings of 2012 Yeosu Expo. One of its main features is the 140m long and up to 13m high facade. 108 operable lamellas can be adjusted to requirments of light and building physics. Additionally, the kinematic facade allows to run special choreographies and act as a moveable eye catcher and media screen. Inspired by the institute’s research on plant movements and kinematic mechanisms like the Flectofin, the here implemented system, which was further developed by Knippers Helbig, is also based on elastic deformation and utilizes the failure mode of shell buckling to its favor to obtain a unique motion. Central to this structural concept is to use FRP lamellas with defined stiffness distribution. Actuators at top and bottom of each lamella are compressing the lamella asymmetrically which creates a deformation outwards and sidewards, which opens the facade.  Various LEDs illuminate the facade during night time and intensify the visual motion of the facade.

Further Links:

Article in ArchDaily (english)
Article from the University of Stuttgart (german)
Animation of the kinematic facade

picture: © soma architects

picture: © simon schleicher

Article @AD

AD  (The Architectural Design Magazine) reports about our collaborative ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010 in their current issue on ‘Material Computation.’ We contributed to this issue with an article about ‘Material Behaviour – Embedding Physical Properties in Computational Design Processes’  authored by Fleischmann, M., Knippers, J., Lienhard, J., Menges, A., and Schleicher, S.

Flectofin @db

The german magazine db (deutsche bauzeitung) features our research on the flectofin in a little article in their current issue ‘Freiräume’ 3/2012.

Flectofin @ZEIT

The german newspaper ZEIT features an article about our biomimetic research at the ITKE institute and the development of the Flectofin.