Forces Frozen

2015 workshop in structural ice shells

Through the power of shape and curvature, very thin shells can achieve impressive strength and stiffness, even when they are made only from frozen water-soaked fabric. This 5-day workshop is inspired by Swiss structural designer Heinz Isler.

Second annual workshop, this is a project from 2014 workshop (photo: Tyler Crain)

Funicular shapes


"As hangs the flexible line, so but inverted will stand the rigid arch."

Robert Hooke

On day one, students test two-dimensional hanging structures
First successful prototype on day two! (photo: Corentin Fivet)

Building Final Structures


Students organized into teams designed and prepared frameworks and material to generate a final compressive structure

One project uses a lit hoola hoop as it's base foundation ©MIT
Structural frameworks control how the fabric develops its shape (photo: Ornella Luoria, Corentin Fivet)         
Evenly distributing water throughout the material ©MIT         
(photo: Corentin Fivet)
(photo: Corentin Fivet)
(photo: Judy Daniels, Corentin Fivet)

See more photos on tumblr


Sponsored by MIT-SUTD 


2015 Instructors

Professor Caitlin Mueller

Corentin Fivet, Post-doctoral Fellow


2015 Participants

Stephanie Borchers, Nathan Brown, Kabin Calan, Yue Chen, Zhiiling Chen, Gretchen Chia, Renaud Danhaive, Ornella Iuorio, Amelie Kharey,  Ashley Kochiss, Benjamin Lee, Michelle Loke, Nathaniel Lyon, Bruce Mackenzie, Billy Ndengeyingoma, Kevin Neo, Zuda Ng, Rishi Reddy, Isabelle Su, Mark Tam, Janice Tan, Leonardo Todisco, Stephanie Wang, Crystal Wang, Poh Wen Ya, Natalia Zawisny, Zhenhuan Zhang, Jingyi Zhao