Stereotomy of Forces

This research investigates force-driven structural design methodologies that are based on geometric constructions, manipulations and transformations of polyhedral force diagrams used in three-dimensional graphic statics.

More info

In contrast to conventional numerical methods that are dependent on predefined forms before any analysis can be executed, this research explores geometry of forces as the catalyst for design, analysis and optimisation of structures. New insights gained from historical investigation of the evolution of graphical methods that led to the founding of graphic statics, will be integrated into a flexible and robust computational framework capable of handling complex geometries of polyhedral force diagrams. In combination with innovative representation and user interface strategies, this research will develop an interactive computational environment to enable designers to approach structural design problems in a variety of new ways that are simply not possible with existing, form-dependent tools. Most importantly, this research not only introduces designers to unprecedented force-driven structural design spaces, but also provides the necessary computational tools and means to explore those design spaces in an unbiased and interactive manner to discover new and previously unimaginable structures.

This research is a continuation of the research project "Three-dimensional polyhedral reciprocal diagrams."

This research was applied to the structural design and fabrication optimisation of the project MycoTree.


Lee J., Van Mele T. and Block P.Disjointed Force Polyhedra,Computer-Aided Design,99,2018 (June).11-28.
Lee J., Van Mele T. and Block P.Area-controlled construction of global force polyhedra,Proceedings of the IASS Symposium 2017,Hamburg,2017 (September).
Lee J., Van Mele T. and Block P.Form-finding explorations through geometric manipulations of force polyhedrons,Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2016,Tokyo, Japan,2016 (September).
Heisel F., Schlesier K., Lee J., Rippmann M., Saeidi N., Javadian A., Hebel D.E. and Block P.Design of a load-bearing mycelium structure through informed structural engineering,Proceeding of the World Congress on Sustainable Technologies (WCST) 2017,2017 (December).


ETH Zurich
Institute of Technology in Architecture
Block Research Group
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 1, HIB E 45
8093 Zurich, Switzerland

+41 44 633 38 35  phone
+41 44 633 10 53  fax

Copyright © 2009-2018 Block Research Group, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.