Architects Achim Menges & Moritz Do?rstelmann, structural engineer Jan Knippers and climate engineer Thomas Auer have designed a robotically woven carbon-fibre pavilion in the courtyard of London’s V&A museum as part of a season of engineering events. The Elytra Filament Pavilion consists of 40 unique hexagonal components that have been robotically fabricated from a combination of transparent glass fibre and black carbon fibre. The design of each component is based on the fibrous structure of a beetle’s forewings.
“This is a live research project, one of the most exciting materials we’ve found are fibre-reinforced plastics – it’s also interesting to see that nature also uses fibrous composites.” “This is very much a showcase of how design and engineering come together,” he added, claiming that developments in digital design and robotic construction are transforming the field of engineering. “I think we’re experiencing another paradigm shift, a fourth industrial revolution.” “The genuine possibilities inherent in the material are not fully tapped into,” he said during a tour of his Stuttgart-based research unit last month. “We haven’t left that phase where these new materials are mimicking old materials.” “It’s a very new technology so nobody has picked it up and commercialised it.” The techniques used to produce the Elytra Filament Pavilion have emerged from an annual series of research pavilions created by Menges and Knippers with students.