form finding

Alternative definitions (4), class: vernacular (0.004761904761904762)


Term: form finding

Form finding is a process of determining the optimal shape of a structure for a given set of loads and constraints (material and geometric). Form finding uses analytical and numerical methods to minimize deformation and stresses, while maximizing stability and efficiency. Other design constraints can be incorporated as desired.


The arch designed via form finding minimizes material needs while ensuring stability against typical wind loads.

Created 2023.04.10
Last Modified 2023.04.10
Contributed by Smiles Fox

The provided definition is more suitable to a more general term like "structural shape optimization". I agree with @Joy Falconer in that geometric form finding methods do not explicitly consider stresses or deformations of a structure, and thus, the definition is incomplete. Adding other design constraints to form finding is "constrained form-finding". - Peaceful Panda 2023.04.18

Not all form finding methods minimize deformation & stresses: deformation and stresses remain unknown for geometric form finding methods and they need to be evaluated via finite element analysis. - Joy Falconer 2023.04.14