Kinetic Architecture

Origami Surfaces for Kinetic Architecture

Filipa Peres Frangolho Crespo Osório
Thesis specially presented for the fulfillment of the degree of Doctor in Architecture and Urbanism
Specialization in Digital Architecture
ISTAR-IUL, ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
December, 2019

This thesis departs from the conviction that spaces that can change their formal configuration through movement may endow buildings of bigger versatility. Through kinetic architecture may be possible to generate adaptable buildings able to respond to different functional solicitations in terms of the used spaces.

This research by Filipa Peres Frangolho Crespo Osório, proposes the exploration of rigidly folding origami surfaces as the means to materialize reconfigurable spaces through motion.

This specific kind of tessellated surfaces are the result of the transformation of a flat element, without any special structural skill, into a self-supporting element through folds in the material, which gives them the aptitude to undertake various configurations depending on the crease pattern design and welldefined rules for folding according to rigid kinematics.

The research follows a methodology based on multidisciplinary, practical experiments supported on digital tools for formal exploration and simulation. The developed experiments allow to propose a workflow, from concept to fabrication, of kinetic structures made through rigidly folding regular origami surfaces.

The workflow is a step-by-step process that allows to take a logical path which passes through the main involved areas, namely origami geometry and parameterization, materials and digital fabrication and mechanisms and control.

The investigation demonstrates that rigidly folding origami surfaces can be used as dynamic structures to materialize reconfigurable spaces at different scales and also that the use of pantographic systems as a mechanism associated to specific parts of the origami surface permits the achievement of synchronized motion and possibility of locking the structure at specific stages of the folding.

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