Polymorph Textility


Project as part of the practise-based doctorate program at TU Berlin (PEP) and the Cluster of Excellence Matters of Activity

supervised by:

Prof. Dr. Ignacio Borrego, TU Berlin
Prof. Christiane Sauer, weißensee school of art and design berlin
The PhD project »Polymorph Textility« explores material programming and shape behavior in response to external climatic stimuli in a practice based research project. The aim is to elaborate a multi-scalar design method for self-forming textiles with shape memory alloys as a thermally active control component.

Physical and computational experimentation with inherent material capabilities are relevant, thus they may renovate predominant limitations of building culture towards more integrated, adaptive and sustainable climatisation strategies. With the development of a computer aided design-to-fabrication framework, such actuated hybrid membranes with dynamic elasticity through compliant bending and buckling and shape memory alloys can be introduced. Under the supervision of Prof. Ignacio Borrego (TU Berlin) and Prof. Christiane Sauer (School of art and Design Weißensee) the project explores performative and sensory qualities of hybrid textile architecture. With a focus on design strategies for adaptive textile structures and the functionalization of softness in architecture, reciprocal relationships between material and morphology are investigated. With a cross-institutional approach the project orients itself toward an interdisciplinary research methodology, that also incorporates knowledge from materialscience and bioinspiration. Within the project Adaptex and Adaptex Klima+ the designed systems are validated through physical implementation in solar shading components in Brandenburg and Oman.

Thermographical analysis reveals the geometrical features of the system. Self shading and paralactic effects have great impact on surface temperatures in direct solar radiation.

Exploring adaptive shape behaviour through structural softness of textiles
This research explores the transformative potential of programmable materials with calibratable micro- and mesostructures, laying the foundation for dynamic textile surfaces capable of regulating the energetic performance of buildings. Focusing particularly on surface-active structures, the study highlights the crucial interplay between material properties and geometry. Soft deformations, such as bending, buckling, and snapping, become inherent to textiles, challenging the traditional architectural concept of "stability" and introducing the novel notion of "elastic resilience."

By digitally representing material parameters, this research facilitates computer-aided product development and structural optimization, enabling the efficient design of building components with polyvalent functionalities. The dialogue between material and geometry is explored through a digital lens, paving the way for a discrete and predictable description of programmable and intelligent materials. This approach offers unprecedented opportunities for architects and designers to create dynamic, responsive environments that adapt to varying energy needs and environmental stimuli.

Looking ahead, the research envisions a future where programmable and intelligent materials are systematically described, allowing for designers and engeneers to collaborate and develop building components that integrate multifaceted functionalities. This shift towards dynamic textile surfaces challenges conventional stability paradigms, ushering in a new era of architecture that prioritizes elastic resilience and adaptive responsiveness.



Geometrical implications of designing with SMA
Material implications of designing with SMA
Climatic implications of designing with SMA