Structural engineering prompted by resilience and sustainability, as well as advances in other fields such as architecture, mechanics, computing and manufacturing, is evolving towards complex design solutions. These solutions often have specific peculiar forms, are made of new materials, and may also be required to serve non-traditional functions. Moreover, sometimes they integrate sensors and actuators that enable them to change form or behavior. The complexity of such solution questions our traditional design strategies requiring a more unifying framework for the form finding and design of structures.


Structural morphology refers to the study of the relation between a structure, its function, form, material, and forces. In an analogy with biology, structural morphogenesis refers to the processes that control the organized spatial distribution of material and often units that compose the overall structure. Computer-aided structural design reflects a holistic and integrated framework of structural morphogenesis for designing tomorrow's structures through physical and numerical modeling.

Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos, PhD

News / Highlights


November 2019

We were part of a reconnaissance team assessing the impact of hurricane Dorian on structures at Great Abaco, the Bahamas, along with government officials from the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction, as well as local practitioners.


October 2019

Our work on using coral restoration for shoreline protection and the development of the SEAHIVE system was presented at American Society of Civil Engineering’s (ASCE) Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI) Coastal Structures 2019 conference, while our research on tensegrity systems and the dialectic form finding of the “M Stadium”, a project by Luigi Moretti, was presented at Form and Force IASS Symposium, the 60th Anniversary Symposium of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures.


August 2019

Our paper on a theoretical framework for sensor placement, structural identification and damage detection in tensegrity structures was accepted for publication now available in Smart Materials and Structures. The paper  reflects a first effort for establishing a reference solution for sensor placement in tensegrity structures under the ideal conditions where all aspects of the structural identification problem are known.


July 2019

Our work on the structural morphogenesis of coastal structures was presented at the 2nd  International Conference on Natural Hazards and Infrastructure (ICONHIC 2019), while our work on tensegrity systems was presented at the 9th ECCOMAS Thematic Conference on Smart Structures and Materials (SMART 2019) and the International Conference Challenges in Mathematical Architecture. Theory, Modelling and Applications (CCMA 2019).