Exhibition +ultra. gestaltung schafft wissenMartin Gropius Bau Berlin, GermanyCollaboration with DDU Darmstadt
Topological Interlocking Assemblies are modular structures that unfold structural capacity by kinematically constraining their building blocks through interlocking.
While masonry bonds bind their elements with mortar, assemblies with intricately interlocking modules exclusively constrain their elements through inherent geometrical and topological properties. Topological Interlocking Assemblies are not compression-only structures, the self-supporting arrangement works in all directions.
The concept only recently re-emerged in material science. Planar materials fail when cracks can propagate through the entire dimension of an element. Topological interlocking assemblies are broken down into small-scale elements already. Thus the approach increases material strength by fragmenting the material. Cracks cease to propagate at the interface between two modules. The concept of toughening by fragmentation, the reversibility, and novel design and fabrication methods like 3D printing make it worth revisiting this forgotten concept.
In this project, we sought to re-conceptualize the system within an architectural framework by embracing computational design, analysis, and fabrication tools, and procedures. The goal was to develop geometrical differentiated, reversible, force-locked systems, and the processes and methods to design and manufacture them.