Subdivision surface modelling for architecture

Paul Shepherd, Paul Richens

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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This paper introduces research currently under development in the Digital Architectonics Research Group of the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering at the University of Bath, UK. This research aims to develop a software framework for the application ofsubdivision surface techniques to the modeling of complex 3D building forms. By incorporating both structural and environmental optimization algorithms into the framework, a “concurrent engineering” approach is adopted, whereby information on the consequences of different design decisions is provided up-front. This results in a tool through which practicing engineers and architects can explore concepts in an informed manner, helping to steer their creativity towards designs with efficiency built-in. The paper introduces the basic software platform and goes on to describe the implementation of subdivision surface modeling, formfinding and optimization techniques. The benefits of combining these capabilities in a single tool are then demonstrated through a case-study, and the future direction of the research is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2010
EventInternational Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2009 - Valencia, Spain
Duration: 28 Sept 20092 Oct 2009


ConferenceInternational Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2009


  • environmental performance
  • software
  • modeling
  • formfinding
  • optimization
  • digital architectonics
  • subdivision surface
  • concurrent engineering


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