Public Lecture - Nicholas Goldsmith

From Mass to Membrane

If we look at a historical evolution of architecture from the massive pyramids of Egypt, to the framed structures of Greek/Roman construction, to the lighter Gothic vaulting, to eventually Modern architecture of the 20th century, we see a continuous almost linear progression from solid mass constructions to framed buildings of glass and steel. Today we are in the early steps of moving from glass and steel structures to diaphanous skins of membrane and foil structures. These new materials incorporate inherent technologies and the aim is to understand how these technologies will affect our spatial experiences and in the process explore lightness as a visual, physical and sustainable approach. Mass to Membrane is our human architectural journey; can we use less material, be more sustainable, and help reduce our carbon footprint on the planet we call earth? Can this linear progression become one of the keys in a more sustainable tomorrow?

Special Film Screening

Frei Otto: Spanning the Future –The Evolution of Tensile Membrane Architecture

A film by Simon K. Chiu, Michael Paglia and Joshua V. Hassel.

Article in The Age

An article appeared recently in the Melbourne Age which covers an interview with Peter Lim (main conference organizer) and discussing the impact and visions of Frei Otto.

Click HERE for the link.

An important element of the 2016 Conference is our "mini-workshop". It will be a unique opportunity for current architecture students to interact with established members in the lightweight structures industry.

It is also an opportunity for those in the industry to reflect on the inspirational methods used by Frei Otto - the acclaimed father of modern membrane and other forms of lightweight structures. Frei used many forms of physical models such as hanging chain meshes, soap films and "stretchy" materials.

In the mini-workshop we will be tackling a design brief brought to us by a company commissioned by a planning authority to assist in the planning of a new community "central park" complex in a rapidly expanding regional centre.

Workshop groups will develop conceptual designs for a number of small to medium sized tensioned membrane structures to provide coverage to seven identified venues. The concepts will be represented by physical models (made from lycra etc) which will be invaluable for the bureacrats to get excited and fund a further stage in the design contract.

The workshop will be assisted by a number of mentors with extensive expertise in model building and suitable structural forms for tensioned membrane structures. Key Mentors include Prof Vinzenz Sedlak, the founding President of LSAA, and Dr Robert Roithmayr from Vienna. The mentors will circulate around the various creative groups.

Watch this space for further details.


 LSAA 2016 Conference and Design Awards - Sept 1-2 2016

"Design Beyond Boundaries - The Intersection of Architects and Engineers"

The web page dealing with the 2016 Conference is now under Events

Voted as one of the best LSAA Conferences due to an excellent and inspirational program which was greatly enhanced by working closely with Monash University Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (MADA).