Al Asali, Adriaenssens explore potential of combining traditional building crafts, engineering technology

June 21, 2023

In 2022, Fung Global Fellow, Wesam Al Asali, now assistant professor at IE School of Architecture and Design, and Sigrid Adriaenssens, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Program in Mechanics, Materials and Structures at Princeton University, received a PIIRS Faculty Projects and Initiatives grant for "Structural Crafts: Developing Vernacular Construction for Sustainable Futures," the building of an unreinforced masonry pavilion on the IE campus in Segovia. 

The project-in-progress was recently covered by Designboom, a daily web magazine covering the fields of industrial design, architecture, and art internationally: "By leveraging augmented reality (AR) and 4D funicular design, innixAR enables vault artisans to create stunning masonry structures in mid-air, eliminating the need for temporary molds or centering of guidework, thus reducing waste. The aim of the project is to underline the potential of combining traditional building crafts with engineering technology and pave the way for environmentally friendly, low-carbon architecture."

Al Asali and Adriaenssens have also created a short documentary of their process:

The PIIRS Faculty Projects and Initiatives funds Princeton faculty up to $75,000 over three years in support of scholarly inquiry and dialogue on a theme within international and regional studies.