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Tutors: Barry Wark & Richard Beckett

Students:Rui Duan , Haifeng Zhao, Zhuoyi Peng, Yifan Ye

BioVellum researches the use of biological polymers as a construction material for temporary, lightweight, semi-living architectures. A series of vegetable-based polymer investigations explores a multi-material condition allowing for functionally graded variability in stiffness, transparency and ephemerality. Manual fabrication using spray based application on to inflatable skins provides a proof of concept for a computational workflow based on multifactored physical and environmental conditions.


The group explores extended position based dynamics simulations to define habitable conditions which use rigid body frameworks as a permanent yet reconfigurable structural scaffolds to control inflation and fabrication of  multi-layered biopolymer membranes. In addition, the building will have a stable degradation cycle, and transparency and lighting will also achieve gradient changes, making the building function flexible and changeable. This project proposes a design for the Tokyo Olympics Media Center as an example to explore the semi-permanent system. This building system is ideally used to the same building modulus (structure, frame) to adapt to different architectural forms. We extract the structure of the media center, which is realized with bioplastics inflation, and supporting and shaping by the metal frame. After the Olympic Games, the program manager would remove the basic modules of the media center, and would reserve the frame for the next buildings.