The symposium was the fifth of a series that began in Brussels in 2003: Designing Tensile Architecture, and continued in Milano in 2007: Ephemeral Architecture: Time and Textiles, Sofia in 2010: Tensile Architecture: Connecting Past and Future, and in Istanbul in 2013: [RE]THINKING Lightweight Structures.
The urban built environment is being transformed by building skins derived from textile architecture. Working from a basis of tensioned membranes, these highly efficient structural forms are now being integrated with multi-disciplinary technologies to form new multi-functional systems that address the needs and global challenges of the urban built environment. The rapid emergence of lightweight building skins is in response to factors associated with climate change, energy, and workplace health and well-being, and is directly linked to advances in material development, analysis tools, and skills in design.
The fifth symposium Novel structural skins was divided into five main topics relating to the Working Groups within the COST Action, and an extra sixth topic, which was the theme of the Open Session:
These research topics are well related to the built environment.
An Open Session was scheduled for the afternoon and evening of Wednesday 26 October 2016. Prominent experts in the membrane architecture and engineering world presented their inspiring built projects to demonstrate to the audience the multitude of possibilities that lightweight structures have.