Shaping by Internal Material Frustration: Shifting to Architectural Scale

Arielle Blonder, Eran Sharon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Self-morphing of thin plates could greatly impact the life if used in architectural context. Yet, so far, its realizations are limited to small-scale structures made of model materials. Here, new fabrication techniques are developed that turn two conventional construction materials—clay and fiber composites (FRP)—into smart, self-morphing materials, compatible with architectural needs. Controlled experiments verify the quantitative connection between the prescribed small-scale material structure and the global 3D surface, as predicted by the theory of incompatible elastic sheets. Scaling up of desired structures is demonstrated, including a method that copes with self-weight effects. Finally, a method for the construction of FRP surfaces with complex curvature distribution is presented, together with a software interface that allows the computation of the 3D surface for a given fiber pattern (the forward problem), as well as the fiber distribution required for a desired 3D shape (the inverse problem). This work shows the feasibility of large-scale self-morphing surfaces for architecture.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2102171
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number24
StatePublished - 22 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Ido Levin for his valuable scientific assistance and fruitful discussions. The authors thank Shira Shoval for her joint work in the initiation of frustrated ceramics. The authors thank the Department of Ceramics and Glass Design at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design for their generous hospitality in the framework of their artists in residency, 2019–2020. This research was realized in the framework of postdoctoral scholarship by the Israeli Council for Higher Education, PBC (Vatat). This research was supported by a scholarship sponsored by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Israel.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • architecture
  • fiber composites
  • frustrated materials
  • mold-less fabrication
  • self-shaping


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