Research Article Open Access

Dialectic Form Finding of Structurally Integrated Adaptive Structures

L. Rhode-Barbarigos1, V. Charpentier2, S. Adriaenssens2 and O. Baverel3
  • 1 University of Miami, United States
  • 2 Princeton University, United States
  • 3 Laboratoire Navier/Géométrie Structure Architecture, France


Structural engineering, prompted by advances in mechanics and computing as well as design principles such as sustainability and resilience, is evolving towards adaptive structures. Adaptive structures are structures that use active components to change shape and properties in response to their environment and/or to their users' desires. Form-found structures, such as tensegrity and shell structures, can be designed to accommodate such changes within their structural behavior. Dialectic form finding is an extension of the traditional form-finding process integrating performance-related constraints and criteria in the search of a geometry in static equilibrium. Two examples of dialectic form-found structurally integrated adaptive structures are presented. The first example is a shape-shifting tensegrity-inspired structure, while the second example is a shape-shifting shell structure. Both systems are designed to explore elastic deformations for shape changes reducing actuation requirements and highlighting the potential of the proposed method.

American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 8 No. 4, 2015, 443-454


Submitted On: 26 June 2015 Published On: 6 July 2015

How to Cite: Rhode-Barbarigos, L., Charpentier, V., Adriaenssens, S. & Baverel, O. (2015). Dialectic Form Finding of Structurally Integrated Adaptive Structures. American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 8(4), 443-454.

  • 3 Citations



  • Adaptive Structures
  • Form-Finding
  • Analysis
  • Shape-Changing
  • Tensegrity
  • Shell