Lightweight Structures Competition


In 2008, I worked with a group of UQ engineering and architecture students to put together an entry for the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) lightweight structures competition, where we were awarded third prize.

We based our design for a temporary emergency shelter on a detail being developed at that time by the UQ engineering school. A recycled plastic fitting was bonded to each end of a length of bamboo to create a structural component. Various geometries could be achieved using combinations of 5 basic colour coded members.

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The structure was designed to be transportable by shipping container or by air as a whole kit, or able to be fabricated on site where bamboo was available. It was versatile in that it could be erected on almost any gradient or terrain, and could be skinned to offer a passive thermal response in both hot and cold climates.

I must acknowledge group members Ryan Cantrill, Vincent Chan, Xavier Wong (eng) and Marie Penny (arch)