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Scaling Nature (1) : Wrinkles


As part of the Research Cluster „Matters of Activity. Image Space Material“ we will establish a new series of „MoA design studio“ projects exploring the inner activity of materials and their potential for design strategies in order to develop new material concepts, that combines structural, energetic and functional efficiency.

We will explore possibilities for upscaling principles from nature into a spatial context and study the natural structures of biological tissues. Specifically, we will look into the phenomenon of wrinkling and its translation into anisotropic textiles and surfaces. In close cooperation with the Max-Planck-Institute of Kolloids and Interfaces Potsdam / Department of Biomaterials, we will explore the surfaces and geometries of biofilms, which are tissue-like complex 3D structures.

Building upon the found principles the students will carry out experimental and theoretical studies of structural flexibility and elasticity in textile constructions. They will study the influence of different parameters (elastic modulus, the geometry of structures) on the dynamics of textiles. The relevance of these theoretical models will be assessed by direct transfer into physical models and prototypes.

Textile composites today can be seen as a source for innovation in many branches of the industry serving high performance and long lifespan to many products. Specifically, structures made of soft materials sustain large reversible deformations and can undergo shape transformations. Hybrids of soft and rigid performance can lead to novel textile constructions in micro, meso and even in architectural scale and can open new fields of application, that lead to new fabrication technologies and solutions.

We will explore possible applications at full scale – building as a team common prototype(s) as a „wrinkle bar“ for the Rundgang exhibition. The prototype as an architectural surface is also planned to be exhibited at Domotex, the international fair for flooring surfaces, Hannover, in January 2020.

The project is carried out and supervised in collaboration with MoA Research Cluster „Matters of Activity. Image Space Material“ and Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Biomaterials Department, Potsdam.

Technical Plug-Ins - Workshops / Talks:

  • Geometries in nature ( Dr. Lorenzo Guiducci / Dr. Kashayar Razghandi, MPIKG Potsdam )
  • Exploring biofilms ( Dr. Cécile Bidan, MPIKG Potsdam )
  • Folding techniques in mathematics and philosophy ( Dr. Michael Friedman, MoA / HU Berlin )
  • Between softness and stability ( Prof. Christiane Sauer )
  • Weaving wrinkles ( Ebba Fransen Waldhör )
  • Printing fibre ( Agata Kycia – Seminar Funktionale Flächen)
  • Fabric construction ( Maxie Schneider )


Textil- und Flächendesign

Entwurf und Konzeption


Sommersemester 2019


A 203