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Integrating Research On New Building Conceptions In The Architectural Engineering Curriculum: Benefits And Challenges

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Practice/Industry Partnership

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.741.1 - 8.741.8

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Paper Authors

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Katherine Liapi

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session # 2506

Integrating research on new building conceptions in the architectural engineering curriculum: Educational objectives and benefits

Katherine A. Liapi The University of Texas at Austin


The invention of new building conceptions is driven by very specific needs. New forms of deployable structures respond to needs that are often of critical importance: they can provide emergency shelters and hospitals after natural disasters, house traveling exhibits, fairs, and movable theatres, serve as temporary storage facilities, etc. Despite the obvious advantages that existing or new conceptions of deployable building structures can offer, they are rarely addressed in the architectural or architectural engineering curriculum as a distinct class of structures. This paper presents the author’s effort to integrate new research on deployable structures into the Architectural Engineering (ARE) curriculum at the University of Texas at Austin. Emphasis on innovative thinking and interdisciplinary approach in problem solving are anticipated benefits of this effort. In addition, the study of new forms of deployable structures requires the development of skills in geometric configuration and kinematic simulation. Educational objectives and benefits from the integration of such research into the ARE curriculum are discussed, and examples of student projects are included.


The invention of new building conceptions is usually driven by specific needs. The urgent need for shelter that occurs after natural disasters, or the need for rapidly erected building structures due to extreme or unusual environmental conditions, such as those existing in the outer space, are some examples. Deployable structures recently attracted the attention of many researchers because of their obvious advantages when speed of transportation and erection are primary considerations (Escrig 1996; Hanaor 2000). A deployable structure is one that can be pre-assembled, relocated to a site, erected and used, then disassembled and moved to another site. Possible applications of deployable structures include emergency shelters and hospitals, traveling exhibits, fairs, movable theatres, temporary storage facilities, shelters in inaccessible places, meteorological stations, etc.

New building conceptions usually emerge from innovative research in building materials

Liapi, K. (2003, June), Integrating Research On New Building Conceptions In The Architectural Engineering Curriculum: Benefits And Challenges Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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