Speaker Series
Emily Whiting

Emily Whiting

Boston University

Mechanics-Based Design for Computational Fabrication

Advancements in rapid prototyping technology are closing the gap between what we can simulate with computers and what we can build, as it is now possible to create shapes of astounding complexity. Despite innovations in hardware, however, costly bottlenecks still exist in the design phase. Today’s computational tools for design are largely unaware of the fundamental laws that govern how geometric models will behave in the real world. In this talk I will present recent work combining digital geometry processing, engineering mechanics, and rapid prototyping. The aim is to infuse principles of mechanics into design processes for fabrication. I will highlight specific applications including balance, buoyancy, acoustics, and architectural construction.

Emily Whiting is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Boston University. Her research is in the area of Computer Graphics, with a focus on topics in architectural geometry, computer-aided design, and 3D fabrication.

Before joining BU she was an Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College where she co-founded the Visual Computing Lab. From 2011-2014 she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at ETH Zurich in the Interactive Geometry Lab with Olga Sorkine-Hornung, where she was supported by a Marie Curie/ETHZ Fellowship. Whiting received her PhD (2012) from MIT, where she worked jointly in Computer Graphics and Building Technology studying structural optimization of 3D masonry buildings. Her advisors were Frédo Durand and John Ochsendorf. Whiting obtained her MSc (2006) in Computational Design from the MIT Department of Architecture, and BASc (2004) in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto. Her history also includes stints in R&D at Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic, structural design with Halcrow Yolles engineering firm, and cultural heritage projects of Italian architecture with Sabry El-Hakim at the National Research Council of Canada.