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Working Group 21: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials


The construction of lightweight structures by cutting-edge techniques and smart materials for the built environment.


The tension between idea and technique has taken an interesting turn. The possibilities offered by new modelling software and smart materials have led to very complex architecture in all its wealth and beauty. The building designs developed tremendously from mass production to very sophisticated, just-in-time-shape-and-place production. Construction of advanced building structures has become industrial design. In spite of what has been achieved, the gap between idea and technique has become larger. Working Group 21 aims to narrow this gap by providing a platform to exchange research and application of advanced manufacturing and materials.

The working group focuses on several topics of the manufacturing process. Researchers are invited to exchange knowledge, to organise sessions and to participate in workshops and exhibitions. Beside creating a knowledge platform within the IASS, the group wants to introduce interdisciplinary cutting-edge techniques and developments into the built environment. In general, the working group aims to bridge the gap between mechanical engineering and the built environment.


The Working Group proposes to advance the following research topics in advanced manufacturing as related to spatial structures:

  1. Additive manufacturing (spraying, extrusion, curing, melting, lamination, etc.)
  2. Casting & moulding (flexible formwork, fabric formwork, adjustable formwork, inflatable formwork, vacuum moulding, blow moulding, etc.)
  3. Connections (bolting, welding, lamination, clamping, stitching, rivets, flexible joints, kinetic joints, zip fasteners, hook and loop fasteners, interlocking connections, etc.)
  4. Subtractive Manufacturing (milling, electro-chemical erosion, laser cutting, water jet cutting, etc.)
  5. Robotics (mechatronics, manufacturing automation, drones, etc.)
  6. Smart materials (micro and nano-fabrication, (bio)composites, metals (alloys), ceramics, natural/synthetic polymers, shape memory alloys etc.)
  7. Textile technology (spinning, (3D) weaving, (3D) knitting, non-woven, etc.)
  8. Surface treatment (polishing, coating, electrotyping, abrasive blasting, etc.)

In addition, the working group aims to organise exhibitions of innovative pavilions to stimulate research and to show the results of this research. For the realisation of those pavilions, the aim is for a synergy of academics, artist and companies.

Recent History

  • A competition and exhibition of innovative pavilions was organised at the 2015 IASS symposium in Amsterdam.
  • ISOFF organized a flexible formwork workshop and symposium at the 2015 IASS symposium in Amsterdam.
  • Sessions by several people were organised concerning fabrication and manufacturing at the 2017 symposium in Hamburg.

Anticipated Future Activities

  • Organize a session on flexible formwork at the 2018 symposium in Boston.
  • Organize an exhibition/competition of innovative pavilions at the 2019 symposium in Barcelona.

Current Membership

All current members of the Working Group, listed below, are members of the IASS. The Working Group welcomes additional members who have an interest in Advanced Manufacturing and Materials; those interested should please contact the Chair or Co-Chair of the Working Group.

Dr. John ORR (Chair) - United Kingdom
Mr. Arno PRONK (Co-Chair) - Netherlands

Prof. Lancelot COAR - Canada
Prof. Dr. Paulo CRUZ - Portugal
Mr. Lars DE LAET - Belgium
Mr. Philipp EVERSMANN - Germany
Dr. Andreas FALK - Sweden
Ass.Prof. Dipl. Ing. Dr. techn. Gunther FILZ - Austria
Prof. Manfred GROHMANN - Germany
Mr. Walter JACK - United Kingdom
Prof. Dr. Harald KLOFT - Germany
Dipl. Ing. Benjamin KROMOSER - Austria
Prof. Dr. Massimo MAJOWIECKI - Italy
Miss Elke MERGNY - Belgium
Ms. Caitlin MUELLER - United States
Prof. Ruy Marcelo de Oliveira PAULETTI - Brazil
Prof. Remo PEDRESCHI - United Kingdom
Dr. Arch. Olga POPOVIC LARSEN - Denmark
Dr.-Eng. Gennaro SENATORE - Switzerland
Dr. Romuald TARCZEWSKI - Poland
Prof. Dr. Patrick TEUFFEL - Germany
Arch. Michela TURRIN - Netherlands
Prof. Dr.Eng Rosemarie WAGNER - Germany
Prof. Yue WU - China


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[This page last updated 21 October 2017]

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