M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentHachem Caroline
SubjectPatterns of Biological Deployment in View of their
Applicability to Deployable Buildings
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors DR. Eyal Karni
PROF. Ariel Hanaor


The present research surveys some deployable structures found in nature, in view of their potential application to architecture. The focus of this study is to point out the morphological and structural characterization of such biological deployable systems.

Ten examples have been selected illustrating these structures. Some of them are derived from relevant biological publications, while others are empirically studied and probably considered for the first time for structural analysis.

Each example is analyzed as belonging to a particular morphological-kinematical category (Folded Plates, Pneumatic Tubes, Ribbed Membranes and Rigid Bars) which is briefly described. Deployment mechanisms as they exist in biological organisms are highlighted in a general way. Interpretations are given to the similarities of biological components with their counterparts in the morphological categories. The principle of the mechanism, after being identified, is compared with applications based on existing or proposed deployable structures. Possible directions for further research are suggested, on the basis of these principles.

The main guideline for the selection of the examples is an attempt at illustrating a wide range of deployment methods and mechanisms. Examples of animals, derived from literature, mainly include invertebrate species, in view of the complexity of their deployment mechanisms. Plant examples are studied empirically and are limited to leaves. Further illustrations of these structural systems are found in other organisms which are not analysed in detail, in the scope of this research.