The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd

Robot-built pavilion will take centre stage as V&A explores the future of engineering

Visitors to the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) in London this May will be able to explore a garden pavilion inspired by nature and fabricated by robots in front of their eyes.

The Elytra Filament Pavilion – created by experimental architects Achim Menges and Moritz Dörstelmann in collaboration with engineers Jan Knippers and Thomas Auer – will launch a special Engineering Season at the museum.

The installation will explore the impact of emerging robotic technologies – such as biomimicry and fabrication – on architectural design, engineering and making. It will be formed by an undulating canopy of tightly-woven carbon fibre cells inspired by the fibrous structures in the shells of flying Elytra beetles.

Robots will expand the pavilion over six months by responding to real-time sensory data on its structural behaviour and the patterns of inhabitation in the garden.

“We aim to offer a glimpse of the transformative power of the fourth industrial revolution currently underway, and the way it again challenges established modes of design, engineering and making,” said Menges. “The pavilion will intensify the visitor’s experience of the V&A’s Garden by providing a differentiated and evolving space.

“Its intricate, filament canopy is at the same time architectural envelope, loadbearing structure and environmental filter, which will extend and transform over time.”

The Engineering Season will also include a major retrospective on Ove Arup, one of the 20th century's most influential engineers, famed for his work on the Sydney Opera House and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design – which runs from 18 June to 6 November – will explore how Arup's multidisciplinary approach to design defined how engineering is practiced today. His projects will be explored through prototypes, models, drawings, film and photography, plus new digital displays featuring animations, simulations and virtual reality.

We may not know it, but engineers organise the world we live in,” said V&A director Martin Roth. “Our lives are reliant on visible and invisible systems conceived, built, run or facilitated by the many disciplines of contemporary engineering. This season is a clear statement in our renewed interest in industrial design and the engineer.”

V&A  robots  biomimicry  engineering  architecture  design  London  exhibition 
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FEATURE: Biomimicry – Learning from nature

Visitors to the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) in London this May will be able to explore a garden pavilion inspired by nature and fabricated by robots in front of their eyes. The Elytra Filament Pavilion – created by experimental architects Achim Menges and Moritz Dörstelmann in collaboration with engineers Jan Knippers and Thomas Auer – will launch a special Engineering Season at the museum. The installation will explore the
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The exhibition will take place in the museum's John Madjeski Garden / V&A Museum
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