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Emergent Space
University of Stuttgart
ITECH M.Sc. Thesis Project 2015
Student: Gergana Rusenova

Emergent Space: Simulations and Analyses of Spatial Aggregate Formations


Emergent Space contributes to the investigations in the field of aggregate architecture by linking together two research areas: the simulations of aggregates formations, and the concept of an adaptive formwork system.

The aim was to investigate the capacity of aggregates to construct emergent spatial formations. The focus is on simulations and analyses of their micro-mechanical behavior, and the stability of the formations as a main design driver. An online-controlled system for an adaptive inflatable formwork was created, which based on the simulation results reacts to the actual stability state of the aggregate formation. The overall concept was also proven and verified in a one-to-one scaled physical model.

This research aims at a novel design approach where the concept of emergence is discussed in the context of two overlaying systems. On the one hand, the capacity of aggregates to collectively and dynamically change the state of the overall composition from fluid to static and backwards over time predefines their ability to construct emergent spatial formations. On the other hand, based on statistical observations of the material, the emergent behavior of the formwork system is being triggered. Both systems, formwork, and material work together in a process that can be described as a continuous feedback loop. The behavior of one system is the cause for the performance of the other one, and vice versa. The final result of the system`s collaboration is considered an emergent spatial aggregate formation.

Project Video

© Gergana Rusenova, ICD/ITKE, University of Stuttgart, Germany, 2015.

Project Development

ITECH M.Sc. Thesis Project 2015, ICD/ITKE, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Emergent Space: Simulations and Analyses of Spatial Aggregate Formations
Gergana Rusenova

Author and Image Credit

Gergana Rusenova

Thesis Advisers

Karola Dierichs, Ehsan Baharlou

Thesis Supervisor

Prof. Achim Menges

Second Supervisor

Prof. Jan Knippers


Itasca Educational Partnership Program (IEP)