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Journal for Geometry and Graphics 23 (2019), No. 1, 127--137
Copyright Heldermann Verlag 2019

Shell Structures vs. Tessellation Patterns, a Didactic Experiment Between Architecture and Mathematics

Marco Hemmerling
University of Applied Sciences, Betzdorfer Str. 2, 50679 Koeln, Germany

Architecture has always relied on mathematics to achieve proportioned aesthetics, geometrical consistency, structural performance and reasonable construction. However, since computational tools have given architects the means to design and build complex spatial concepts that would have been inconceivable even twenty years ago, the discussion on how to integrate computation into the architectural curriculum is still ongoing. Against this background the academic project "Shell Structures vs. Tessellation Pattern" focussed on the early integration of mathematical strategies regarding geometric description, structural performance, physical properties, and material specification as well as aspects of fabrication to inform the architectural design. The emphasis of the curriculum, developed jointly by the Department of Architecture and the Department of Mathematics, was put on research-based design-strategies that aimed to unfold hidden complexities of rather simple geometric definitions. The paper presents the didactic methodology and discusses three selected case studies that were carried out within this interdisciplinary Master course at the Politecnico di Milano.

Keywords: Didactics, architecture curriculum, architecture and mathematics, parametric modelling, tessellation, shell structures.

MSC: 00A67; 68U07

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