Data Informed Structures
The structural collective of specific environment
[Project Overview]

The Magic Carpet is a project created in the Institute for Advanced Architecutre of 
Catalonia, during the two-term seminar Mushrooms: The structural collective of a 
specific environment, led by Manja Van de Worp. It was developed by twenty six 
students of the Master in Advanced Architecture, along with IAAC faculty Raimund 
Krenmüller and student assistant Cesar Arroyo.
During the first term of the seminar, the students were divided in six groups, and 
were emerged into Structural Design and Analysis through seminars of Karamba and a 
design competition for a wooden structure, placed in the IAAC facilities. The winning 
proposal of the competition, the Magic Carpet, was further analyzed and fabricated in 
scale 1:1 during the second term. During that term, the students were divided in six 
new groups, each focusing on a different aspect of the final structure (Design, Global 
Structural Analysis, Global Structural Physical Model, 1:1 Fabrication, Connection to 
Existing Structure and Documentation-Installation).

The Magic Carpet, is composed out of wooden cross sections that create folded surfaces, 
which can be used as sitting, lounging or working spaces. The idea behind the structural 
design is that the final 3D surface model should not be able to be unfolded, making it 
self-lock in place. The design also focuses on the ergonomics making sure that an angle 
between 90 and 160 degrees is maintained to increase the user's comfort, whilst keeping 
in mind that the steeper the slope, the less it unfolds, thus the sturdier the structure. 
What makes it really interesting, is the fact that geometrically/morphologically it spans 
along one axis, where as structurally it spans along the other. Initially, the structure 
was going to be installed in the IAAC facilities as a new lounge space between two existing 
bridges. Later, it was decided to turn the Magic Carpet into a mobile structure, let 
it fly and give the public space a new identity, allowing the users of the city of 
Barcelona to interact with it and seize their own space in the diverse forms it offers.

[Global Structural Analysis]

Magic Carpet Karamba Analysis Diagrams


Study of Shear - Adding a curved cable decreases the deformation by 25%.
Karamba diagrams were used to define the location and size of the steel rods.

Location and Lengths of Cables

Due to the complexity of the design, there were some specific locations of the
structure that were considered as "special cases", for which unique joinery had 
to be designed. The diagrams below show the position of these cases and the
details designed for them.

The final step  of the fabrication process was post-tensioning the whole structure.

[On Site Installation Analysis]

As mentioned before, initially the Magic Carpet was designed as an indoor structure.
The students' team, also studied the existing structure that the Magic Carpet would
be attached to, and designed the installation process.




[Fabrication Process]

Click to Enlarge
Assembly Protocol




[Final Structure]

Click to Enlarge

Eduardo Chamorro Martin
Elliot Santos
Ipsita Datta
Milivoje Momcilovic
Shruti Jalodia
Yuchen Chen
Sabrina Naumovski
Ozge Tektas
Timothy Magara
Mario Alberto Espinoza Membreño
Mohammad Amin Ziaie Bigdeli
Yi Fan Liao
Umit Ceren Bayazitoglu
Nikoleta Mougkasi
Lars Erik Elseth
Anuj Mittal
Stephie Moukarzel
Ogulcan Unesi
Cansu Cetin
Madhurya Bayyapuneedi
Hari Krishna Gundu
Johan Jasser Salas Castro
Anna Piliugina
Luciana Maia Teodózio
Adriana Cano Limarino
Mohamed Ifthikar Noordeen


Manja Van De Worp
Fabrication Expert:
Raimund Krenmüller
Student Assistant:
Cesar Arroyo
Special Contributors
Soroush Garivani
Ardeshir Talaei