Lightweight structures have been regularly applied in the field of human construction, and have been so for more than ten thousand years. They have recently seen a considerable expansion due to the promising prospects that they offer, accounting for a larger proportion of the overall volume of buildings. The last few decades have brought numerous significant innovations in terms of materials, design and computation tools, as well as construction detailing and installation methodology. As a consequence of such innovative applications, membrane construction now has an established place in the field of Architecture.
However, some imperative questions arise. At what stage of development are the best built examples today? Will current technical advancements in materials production lead to lighter and more efficient structures and to greater environmentally sustainable enclosures? What is the biggest challenge of the next few decades in the field of tent construction? Can we envision a future where unknown durable and recyclable materials will contribute to decrease the current conflicts between society and nature?
The 6th International TensiNet Symposium, "Softening the Habitats. Sustainable Innovation in Minimal Mass Structures and Lightweight Architectures" will open a twofold reflection on this complexity, by means of the conference and the IN.TENSION exhibition. Three mornings of inspiring keynote lectures plus a number of plenary sessions, followed by just as many afternoons of parallel sessions, will create a very special event where experts in the areas of membrane architecture and engineering, as well as researchers and industry representatives, are invited to contribute to constructive debates on Soft structures, softening the environment and soft skins.
We are glad to announce the
OPEN ACCESS PUBLICATION
of the Softening the Habitats Proceedings.
Moreover, a selection of the 25 best full papers
will be published on a Special Issue of the
Architectural Engineering and Design Management,
Francis & Taylor ed.,
after a peer-reviewed selection process by the Scientific Committee of the conference and the
Editorial Board of the Journal.
The conference will focus on how building technologies on membranes are being more and more directed towards achieving a smaller environmental footprint and obtaining more resilient cities and landscapes. Worldwide, the lifestyle is increasingly characterized by requirements of flexibility, speed and de-materialization. Further applications of lightness and findings could be foreseen and experimented in the field of extreme living structures, meaning on one side the structures of post-emergency recovery, that have to perform requirements of speed, low-budget and modularity. On the other side, the design of structures for outer space, that need to perform high-tech requirements, in an opposite way, for the extreme living. Nevertheless, the conference will also propose to deeply reflect on the theme of lightness in architecture, as well as how lighter constructions can potentially generate novel ideas on habitats.