Forces Frozen: Hands-on explorations of structural ice shells

This paper shares the authors’ experience regarding the Forces Frozen workshop developed in MIT’s Building Technology Program, within the Department of Architecture. This one-week outdoor workshop invites students to physically explore the world of structural ice shells. Ice shells are primarily created by a procedure that takes advantage of the symmetrical behavior of tension and compression, with the following steps: (1) hanging fabric sheets into the desired inverted shape, (2) spraying the fabric with water, and (3) flip the shell upside-down once they become rigid with ice. Because the initial dry fabric was stable in tension under self weight, the flipped geometry remains stable as well, but in compression. The workshop has been found to be an efficient and effective way to teach architecture and engineering students the statics and dynamics of shells in a stimulating and joyful environment.

Cruz, Paulo J.S.
Published in:
Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Structrues and Architecture
Presented at:
3rd International Conference on Structures and Architecture, Guimarães, Portugal, July 27-29, 2016
Balkema (Taylor & Francis Group)

 Record created 2016-06-15, last modified 2018-03-17

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