For ever-expanding megacities, rapid changing social context is an area of major concern for architectural structures. With shifts in lifestyles and social conditions, the land-use pattern of the city is undergoing a major transition continuously. Advancing economies and occupations result in periodically re-diagrammed urban map of the city with overgrowing satellite towns enveloping the main city thus increasing the loads on energy consumption and infrastructure. For congested cities, that lack any further urban space for expansion and any further resources to support the infrastructure, it is essential to design multi-use structures that are programmatically adaptive spaces. These essentially can be small scale adaptive structures for rehabilitating the low-cost social communities which transform into economy generating spaces like house-hold factories and manufacturing units by day and residential housing units for the families by night. Another possibility for adaptive infrastructural structures is public health and learning centers by day and social congregational and recreational spaces by night. These adaptive temporary structures can also be highly useful for disaster-based rapid rehabilitation spaces.
The proposed design case, however, attempts at addressing the issue of lack of flexible and multi-use adaptive habitable spaces in densely populated urban contexts with a continuous influx of varied social groups. This concern is addressed essentially by developing dynamically configured Tensegrity Structures. The project further investigates the various organization strategies of the designed Tensegrity modules evolved using algorithmic design process. The organization logic reflects the juxtaposition of existing spatial conditions and required re-configured enclosed spaces, both of which are listed following a thorough study and analysis of site conditions at varied ti me scales. The further investigation involves understanding change connection parameters of the components and the respective resultant alteration in the spatial nature of the design. The process followed for developing these Tensegrity modules involves generative algorithmic approach to produce highly varied morphologies within a limited set of principles and parameters, followed by an intensive evaluative analysis and elimination procedure to filter out the most optimized and useful modules. The strength and stability of the design system is tested digitally using material properties and constraints in analytical soft wares like Strand in order to understand the load bearing capacity and buckling thresholds for the design. The resultant filtered morphologies selected based on structural and spatial qualities are further organized within the selected context of over-crowded, congested and ever-expanding city of Mumbai. The final design proposal addresses the construction and installation techniques from a critical view-point to be able to propose a viable design solution to the addressed problem in the chosen context.
Although the conventionally studied classical Regular Tensegrity Structures can be classifi ed as Linear Systems, the recent investigation in the field of developing and designing the Irregular Tensegrity has led to understanding the complex behavior of Irregular Structures. While
the primary parameters governing the morphological stable state of the system are the properties of its compressive and tensile components, the connection logic and nodal degrees kinetic freedom of the configuration also contribute significantly to the resultant stability. These parameters essentially govern the Distributed Causality behavior of the system where a slight variation in the initial conditions affect drastically the morphology of resultant varied stable state. Tensegrity structures, with its potential to configure itself into multiple stable states based on equilibrium states of its components, provides for a very efficient system to be explored for dynamic structural behaviors. Quite paradoxically, the kinematics of the system informs the static and final form of the configuration of the system. The primary objective of studying Irregular Tensegrity Structures is to design a structurally dynamic Tensegrity system that inherently
possesses a potential to adapt to the varying contexts and its respective demands, requirements and spatial needs.
Based on the learnings and observations of the Design Development stage, the design strategy was revised and adapted to suit the specific site requirements and program needs. The idea was to use the existing site program units as guiding points for the placements of the newer design modules. In order to achieve this goal, the site was studied in detail by selecting a small typical cluster for test application. The exiting programs and activities were studied in terms of their time-scales of use and spatial needs during use. The inferences from this study helped in placing the highly dynamic modules in those particular areas that exhibited this need for changing program and space. The other non-dynamic modules were placed in places which exhibited need for the similar spatial orientations for the respective functions.