Martin Bechthold

Martin Bechthold
Harvard University | Harvard · Graduate School of Design

About

58
Publications
23,208
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
444
Citations

Publications

Publications (58)
Article
This research reports on numerical and experimental methods for the use of post-tensioning with brittle ceramic extrusions. It proposes a novel construction approach, including new joint typologies, and demonstrates the viability of ceramic as a primary structural material in a bending-active context through two pavilion-scale prototypes. The resea...
Article
Full-text available
Porous materials with well-defined periodicity are commonly encountered in biological and synthetic structures and exhibit a wide range of behaviors, ranging from negative Poisson’s ratios, to high energy absorption and acoustic damping. Recently, the response of these systems has been shown to be enhanced by mechanical instabilities that lead to s...
Article
In this work, we report a paradigmatic shift in bioinspired microchannel heat exchanger design towards its integration into thin film wearable devices, thermally active surfaces in buildings, photovoltaic devices, and other thermoregulating devices whose typical cooling fluxes are below 1 kW/m2. The transparent thermoregulation device is fabricated...
Article
Full-text available
Inspired by the recent success of buckling-induced reconfigurable structures, a new class of deployable systems that harness buckling of curved beams upon a rotational input is proposed. First, experimental and numerical methods are combined to investigate the influence of the beam's geometric parameters on its non-linear response. Then, it is show...
Article
Full-text available
Deployable Structures In article number 2101144, Martin Bechthold, Katia Bertoldi, and co‐workers present a system of curved beams that leverage material elasticity and out‐of‐plane buckling to deploy from flat to diverse 3D configurations with a simple rotational input. The platform provides opportunities for the generation of functional, deployab...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This research explores the customization potential of ceramic extrusion by means of integrating CNC fabrication tools into current industrial ceramic extrusion lines. In order to support this approach, we designed and built two wall prototypes made of 700 extruded ceramic pieces. The pieces were produced using a single extrusion die and were cut to...
Presentation
Full-text available
This research explores the customization potential of ceramic extrusion by means of integrating CNC fabrication tools into current industrial ceramic extrusion lines. In order to support this approach, we designed and built two wall prototypes made of 700 extruded ceramic pieces. The pieces were produced using a single extrusion die and were cut to...
Article
Design and fabrication methods translated from microfluidics, microelectromechanical systems, origami, and biologically inspired engineering may offer efficiency improvements for water-based thermoregulation in buildings. This paper introduces foldable radiant cooling devices that are fabricated by lamination with integrated microfluidic water-circ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Compliant composites are a new approach to composite systems that leverage the semi-rigid properties of composite woven fabrics to create kinetic compliant mechanisms. Simple fabrication and economic actuation principles are proposed to transform planar fabrics into three-dimensional configurations without using expensive molds, instead, relying on...
Presentation
Full-text available
Compliant composites are a new approach to composite systems that leverage the semi-rigid properties of composite woven fabrics to create kinetic compliant mechanisms. Simple fabrication and economic actuation principles are proposed to transform planar fabrics into three-dimensional configurations without using expensive molds, instead, relying on...
Article
Thermal regulation of buildings in climates with daily and seasonal weather changes can prove challenging and result in high building energy consumption. While adaptable façades with tunable infrared transmitting properties could modulate solar transmittance through the building envelope and, as such, increase energy efficiency, available technolog...
Article
Full-text available
Calculating emissions and related environmental impacts for buildings is typically a data-heavy and labour-intensive task. Widely used life cycle assessment (LCA) standards require meticulous modelling of multiple processes for each part within a product or a subassembly. This level of detailing demands time-consuming manual modelling and essential...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The benefits of additive manufacturing technologies for the production of customized construction elements has been well documented for several decades. Multi-material additive manufacturing (MM-AM) enhances these capacities by introducing region-specific characteristics to printed objects. Several examples of the production of multi-material assem...
Chapter
Current digital clay fabrication techniques comply with the innate material behavior of clay by extruding in two-dimensional layers. This method inevitably uses an excess amount of material and is a time-consuming process that does not take advantage of the viscous properties of clay. However, by utilizing spatial print trajectories with embedded p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Additive manufacturing technologies (AMTs), commonly referred to as 3D printing, are an emerging area of study for the production of architectural ceramic elements. AMTs allow architectural designers to break from established methods for designing with ceramic elements—a process where elements are typically confined to building components produced...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Funicular grid shells are typically constructed from steel or timber struts, but no examples are known using structural ceramics, a material known for its longevity and fire resistance. We report a method for the design and fabrication of a novel grid shell structure from unreinforced ceramic tile with minimal use of metal fasteners. Full-scale stu...
Article
This research introduces a novel approach to control light transmittance based on flexible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) films that have been plasma-treated such that micro-scale surface features have a visual effect as the film responds to applied strain. The effect is continuously tunable from optically clear (71.5% Transmittance over a 400–900 nm...
Article
Full-text available
Design for material recovery is drawing increased interest as a strategy for eliminating landfill waste outputs from building end-of-life operations. Yet, a lack of comprehensive performance evaluation methods in this field is preventing policymakers and stakeholders from setting verifiable recovery goals for new construction and retrofitting. Resp...
Article
Materiality — the use of various materials in architecture — has been fundamental to the design and construction of buildings, and materials science has traditionally responded to needs formulated by design, engineering and construction professionals. Material properties and processes are shaping buildings and influencing how they perform. The adve...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Auxetic structures exhibiting non-linear buckling are a prevalent research topic in the material sciences due to the ability to tune their reversible actuation, porosity, and negative Poisson's ratio. However, the research is limited to feature sizes at scales below 10 mm 2 , and to date, there are no available efficient design and prototyping meth...
Article
Full-text available
B uildings consume about 40% of the world's energy output and generate approximately 33% of all anthro-pogenic carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions globally. 1 In the United States, the residential sector alone represents more than 11% of the primary energy demand. Within this sector, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) account for nearly h...
Article
Full-text available
Research in ceramic material systems at Harvard University has introduced a range of novel applications which combine digital manufacturing technologies and robotics with imaginative design and engineering methods. Prototypes showcase the new performative qualities of ceramics and the integration of this material in today's construction culture. Wo...
Article
Full-text available
This article records an asynchronous discussion conducted via email over the course of several weeks. Initiated by Martin Bechthold, the co-authors were invited to contribute sequential responses in the course of a virtual conversation centered on questions of design, engineering, computation and materials.
Article
Advances in the understanding and processing of materials have historically been one of the foremost drivers of architectural innovation. Today, groundbreaking material developments mainly occur on the nano-scale, and thus lie outside most designers' working knowledge and expertise. Martin Bechthold, Professor of Architectural Technology at the Har...
Book
Far beyond its long-standing decorative and protective use, architectural ceramics has matured into a material system of great potential. Triggered by material research, design computation and digital fabrication methods, the innovations in ceramic technology are enabling expanded applications for ceramics as a multi-functional, performative materi...
Article
The deep building layouts typical in the U.S. have led to a nearly complete reliance on artificial lighting in standard office buildings. The development of daylight control systems that maximize the penetration and optimize the distribution of natural daylight in buildings has the potential for saving a significant portion of the energy consumed b...
Chapter
Martin Bechthold is a Professor of Architecture at Harvard University and the director of the Graduate School of Design's Technology Platform. He first participated at Smartgeometry (SG) as a workshop leader of the ‘Ceramics 2.0’ cluster in 2012. The cluster explored and defined new possibilities at the intersection of computational design, digital...
Article
The project develops an integrated digital workflow [1] for robotic tile placement that allows off-site use of industrial robotics for on-site tiled surfaces, and tests feasibility in the context of the tile industry. The proposed approach overcomes limitations of existing methods that focus on efficiency [2,3] by enabling unique and complex tile p...
Article
This paper investigates design processes of and guidelines for biologically-inspired smart building systems (BISBS). Within the functional and performance requirements of building systems, biologically-inspired design is explored as the key approach and smart technology as the enabling technology. The Soft Modular Pneumatic System (SMoPS) is develo...
Book
Full-text available
Challenged by the recent economic crisis, the building and construction industry is currently seeking new orientation and strategies. Here mass customisation is uncovered as a key strategy in helping to meet this challenge. The term mass customisation denotes an offering that meets the demands of each individual customer, whilst still being produce...
Chapter
The use of industrial robotics in architecture is characterized by the dominance of two distinct approaches. The first attempts to solve practical problems using engineering methods without affecting design scope. The second is dominated by creative and artistic design experimentation, primarily seeks to inspire, and consciously leaves the practica...
Article
Purpose: This research investigates the possibility of adapting industrial fabrication methods to produce mass customized ceramic components for complex tectonic systems. The aim is to bring the practice of building ceramic structures close to the contemporary production context by proposing a revision of a well-established production method - clay...
Article
Full-text available
The current design practice for high performance, custom facade systems disconnects the initial façade design from the fabrication phase. The early design phases typically involve a series of iterative tests during which the environmental performance of different design variants is verified through simulations or physical measurements. After comple...
Article
The last few years have witnessed a robotic revival with a reinvigoration of interest in what the robot can offer the construction industry. Martin Bechthold looks back at the first robotic boom during the 1980s and 1990s when millions of Japanese yen were invested in developing robots that could address the shortage of construction labour. Bechtho...
Article
Full-text available
p. 1780-1789 The research explores the design and analysis of a thin marble shell that incorporates the latest developments in fabrication technology and computational analysis. Natural stone, one of the oldest and most traditional building materials, is used in innovative ways by manipulating it with a 6-axis robotic waterjet. The research studies...
Article
Full-text available
Las nuevas técnicas de representación en arquitectura han ampliado las posibilidades de exploración formal hacia lo que algunos interpretan como un mayor grado de libertad. ¿Cómo relacionar ese potencial del proyecto con los asuntos que la gravedad (entendida como peso, empuje y resistencia) plantea a la obra construida?.
Article
New representation techniques have expanded the possibilities of architectural form, to what could be understood as an expansion for creative freedom. How can we relate this new potential with the engagement that gravity force (as weight, thrust and resistance) demands on built work?
Article
This paper presents a study in digital design and manufacturing of shells, which are material-efficient systems that generate their load-bearing capacity through curvature. Their complex shapes are chal?lenging to build, and the few current shell projects employ the same shape repetitively in order to reduce the cost of concrete formwork. Can digit...
Article
Shells, though potentially efficient structural systems, are difficult to build because of their complex shapes. The paper presents a new design and manufacturing process for wood-sandwich roof shells. These are complexly shaped multifunctional construction elements that are manufactured off-site. The proposed manufacturing process treats wood as a...
Article
Computer-Aided-Design, Engineering and Manufacturing (CAD/CAE/CAM) technology has changed the way consumer products, automobiles or airplanes are designed and made. The emerging applications for CAD/CAE/CAM technology in architecture, and the way this technology impacts how we design and construct the built environment, are yet unclear. This thesis...
Article
The paper discusses a project-based approach to technology teaching, and examines the case of the mobile information unit (MIU) for Harvard University and its art museums. A student competition was held to explore design alternatives for this unit. The winning entry proposed an interactive, pixilated fiber-optics display as well as touch screens. P...

Projects

Projects (5)
Project
Developed by researchers and students from the Material Processes and Systems (MaP+S) Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Ceramic Tectonics: Tile Grid Shell explores the structural capabilities of thin, large format ceramic tiles – a product commonly used as an interior surface finish or exterior cladding. The prototype is the world’s first all-ceramic grid shell! Structural applications are emerging as new applications for tiles, challenging age-old perceptions of ceramic as surface finish. Ceramic Tectonics asks the question; can a product typically experienced as a two-dimensional surface also define and enclose a three-dimensional space? Fabricated from unreinforced 6mm thick ceramic tile, the catenary form of this triangular, self-supporting grid shell is designed to minimize internal stresses and efficiently span between three points of support. Director: Professor Martin Bechthold Project Manager: Zach Seibold Design Research: Yonghwan Kim, Olga Mesa, Milena Stavric