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The Blob! In Delft.
Jeremy Faludi, 14 May 05

The kids over at TU Delft are cool. It's one of the few places in the world where you can get a Ph.D. in Green Design. They also have fun, and go off in some wacky directions. Now people there are working on blob-architecture. Specifically, how to model and manufacture anything you can imagine, however wiggly it might be.

The TU Delft prof Kas Oosterhuis also has a company called ONL that's come up with plenty of blobby and otherwise avant-garde ideas too, though it's unclear whether they're more than vaporware (I only found a couple things in the whole collection that looked like they'd actually been built).

None of the Blob architectural research is for green building, but it could be a good tool for that, in the right hands: catenary arches and other curves are great for giving maximum strength with minimum mass, and Buckminster Fuller pointed out decades ago how the aerodynamics of buildings affect their heating and cooling load (streamlined buildings lose less heat to outside winds). So let's get more Fuller and less Gehry in there.

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