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Issue 1.2

The Limits of Simulation: Towards a New Culture of Architectural Engineering

Computational design and fabrication are at the focus of advanced practice and research in architecture. They allow for local differentiation of building components that enable buildings that were unthinkable a few years earlier. However, to fully exploit the potential of computational fabrication, a new paradigm in engineering is necessary. Today, the quantitative prediction of integrity by calculation of stresses and deformations is conceived as an indispensable prerequisite for any building construction. However, each simulation is only valid within certain boundary conditions, often not able to cope with advanced material systems. This paper discusses the need for alternative engineering strategies including integrated monitoring and physical testing in the design process to overcome the limitations of simulation.

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