Structural NURBS


Isogeometric Analysis (IGA) is a novel approach in finite element methods which allows to directly use NURBS-objects in CAD for simulation and therefore overcomes standard processes of geometry translations (such as meshing) and enables integrated design approaches by linking the power of simulation consistently into the modelling space (CAD). In consequence, IGA allows to rethink common and well-known challenges and workflows in computational design, especially in the field of simulation-informed modelling based on feedback (consistency in mathematical description of geometry – “the NURBS world is never left”) and also fabrication (preserve iso-line information, etc.). As a result, the potentials of computational design is extended, while the complexity associated to meshing and geometry preprocessing is avoided.

The workshop aims to introduce the method and its application by highlighting different aspects of applied IGA while using the plugin Kiwi!3d for Rhino/Grasshopper and looks for a critical discussion and reflection on the derived workflows, concepts and modelling aspects in the field of simulation- informed modelling and design. During the workshop we will look at different modelling aspects via examples from the field of textile structures, bending active structures, fabrication and optimization mainly with a strong relation to feedback-loop information from simulation (structural analysis, form finding).

The target audience has an architectural or engineering background, but not necessarily. Being familiar with the basics of Rhino/Grasshopper is expected.

The plugin Kiwi!3d is developed by the teachers and available online at

Workshop format

The workshop format is divided in three parts:

Part I: Learning
Introduction to isogeometric analysis and software tutorials on Kiwi!3d with intermediate hands-on sessions, this will focus on how to use IGA for form finding, bending active structures and optimization.

Part II: Application and Testing
The participants will develop individual computational models of simple physical models (e.g. a simple textile tensile structure) or individual templates in order to apply and test Kiwi3d. This sessions is guided by the teachers. There will be short group review sessions in order to exchange experiences, questions, etc.

Part III: Discussion
All participants will present their work achieved in Part II and the results will be discussed together.

Workshop Leaders

Philipp Längst

Philipp Längst is working as a structural engineer at str.ucture in Stuttgart, Germany). He graduated from University of Stuttgart with a M.Sc. degree in Civil Engineer in 2015, which included a research visit to the Chair of Structural Analysis, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai-Uwe Bletzinger, Technical University of Munich with focus on Isogeometric methods and its advantages for structural design. His interests focus on linking architectural and structural design with new technologies in computational analysis methods in order to explore and exploit new approaches in structural design.

Anna Bauer

Anna Bauer is a doctoral student and Ph.D. candidate at the Chair of Structural Analysis at the Technical University of Munich under the supervision of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai-Uwe Bletzinger. In her research she focuses on the development and implementation of Isogeometric Analysis methods for architectural and structural design as well as leading graduate courses on IGA at the TU Munich.

Riccardo La Magna

Riccardo La Magna is a structural engineer active both in research and practice. He received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the University of Stuttgart with a thesis on bending-active structures. He is now project engineer at str.ucture GmbH and has been guest professor at the Chair for Structural Design and Technology (KET) of the UdK Berlin. In his research he focuses on simulation technology, innovative structural systems, and new materials for building applications.