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MIT School of Architecture | MAS-836 Course Final Project | 2016

Struct[k]it is a physical modeling toolkit that provides real time feedback on axial stress in structural elements. Using Struct[k]it, the user incrementally assembles and refines a physical model augmented by real-time feedback about axial forces. This coupling of physical model making and the visual feedback on the otherwise abstract data builds a noble tangible interface which helps building an intuitive understanding about the structural analysis.

Using sensor technologies, data about structural forces can be directly extracted from physical elements. This eliminates laborious computations that goes behind even the simplest structural analysis calculations. This data will then be represented through the light color emitted from each element: if the element is under tension, the color gets more towards “blue”, and if the element is under compression, the color moves towards “red”. This color-coded visualization gives real-time feedback about the internal forces within structures, which helps build an intuitive understanding on structural analysis. This can be specifically beneficial for novices and students learning the basics of structural engineering.

Each unit of Struct[k]it interface is embedded with Force sensors on both ends, length-long RGB LED strip for visualization of the force data, a computational brain and batteries. Through this integrated system, the data about the structural force in each structural member will be directly extracted through the sensors, and then will get mapped to the 256 bit RGB value. Ranging in the color spectrum of Red to Blue, the colored light emitted by each member will show the state as well as the intensity of “tension” to “compression”.

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