SmartNodes is a research project that is part of the Independents’ Group (IG) of which Kristof Crolla received the first Fellowship in 2013. The research project is hosted at RMIT University, Melbourne, in collaboration with industry partner Arup, and explores the potential for pairing unique, high-tech, weight optimal node components with off-the-shelf, standard beams and fixings to accomplish customized and complex building form. It addresses the challenge of designing and prototyping a lightweight canopy structure. The system is underpinned by a series of custom manufactured structural nodes, designed and optimized with digital algorithms and produced using the latest 3D metal printing technology. These link simple beams and planar panels. Through the customized geometry of each node, the system has the potential for a broad range of design outcomes without significant cost penalties.
The Laboratory for Explorative Architecture & Design (LEAD) is a young Hong Kong & Antwerp based architectural design and research practice founded by Belgian architect Kristof Crolla