international association for shell and spatial structures

Working Group 6: Tension and Membrane Structures


Encourage and synthesize presentations, reports and publications on projects, designs and research related to tension structures, such as membrane structures, cable structures, tensegrities and hybrid structures.


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Current Objectives

  1. Organize sessions at IASS Symposia and Colloquia related to tension structures
  2. Discuss and share the information about key trends and future issues about tension structures
  3. Contribute to the organization and editing of Special Issues of Journal of the IASS related to tension structures

Activities during 2013-14

  • Organized two WG Sessions for the IASS Symposium 2014 in Brasilia.
  • The officers of the WG extended international communication by serving in the following ways:
  1. Ken'ichi Kawaguchi is serving for MSAJ (Membrane Structures Association Japan) as one of the Executive Committee members. He wrote a short guidelines for membrane ceiling systems in 2014 (in Japanese). He also served as the chair of the committee for the safety of the non-structural components in AIJ (Architectural Institute of Japan), and this committee published the "Guidelines for safety measures against accidental fall of ceilings and other non-structural components" (192 pages, in Japanese).
  2. Marijke Molleart is serving TensiNet as a core person.
  3. Ron Shaeffer is revising the Tensile Membrane Structures Standard for the ASCE as a member of the committee.

Activities during 2014-15

  • Organized a WG Session for the IASS Symposium 2015 in Amsterdam.
  • The officers of the WG extended international communication by continuing their service activities listed above for 2013-2014.
  • In addition, Ken'ichi Kawaguchi organized ten pre-symposium seminars for IASS2016 Tokyo in many places in Japan.
  • Several WG members participated in the IASS-endorsed conference "Structural Membranes 2015: Textile Composites and Inflatable Structures," October 19-21 in Barcelona.

Activities during 2015-16

  • Ron Shaeffer and Marijlke Molleart were invited to MSAJ seminar at Tokyo Garden Palace Hotel to deliver lectures for MSAJ members, on the occasion when they visited Tokyo for IASS2016.
  • Sudarshan Krishnan has taken the initiative for the WG6 OS at Tokyo.
  • Ken'ichi Kawaguchi organized free post-symposium tour for IASS symposium participants to visit tension structures around Tokyo, after the IASS2016.
  • Ken'ichi Kawaguchi organized the International Design Competition for Young Generation on New National Stadium Japan.
  • Ken'ichi Kawaguchi organized the exhibition of Tent Models made by members of the Japan Tent Sheet Manufacturers Association, at the Ito Hall, the venue of IASS2016.
Activities during 2016-17
  • Ron Shaeffer and Ken'ichi Kawaguchi were invited to SEWC colloquium at Bangalore July 13-15 to deliver lectures.
  • Sudarshan Krishnan has organized the WG6 session for IASS2017.
  • Ken'ichi Kawaguchi has designed a membrane structure, of which roof is supported by a tensegrity tower and a pentagonal tensegrity skeleton, and constructed at Kashiwa campus of the university of Tokyo in 2017.
  • Several WG members are going to join the IASS-endorsed conference "Structural Membranes 2017", October 9-11 in Munich.
Activities during 2017-18
  • Ron Shaeffer was selected as a new honorary member of IASS during EC meeting at IASS2018.
  • Sudarshan Krishnan has organized the WG6 session in IASS2018.
  • Ken'ichi Kawaguchi has organized the memorial session for Kenneth Snelson in IASS2018.

Activities during 2018-19

  • Ken'ichi Kawaguchi was invited to SEWC congress at Istanbul April 24-26 to deliver a lecture on "Safety of Ceilings and Modern Architectures", in which he stressed safety of membrane ceilings.
  • Mamoru Kawaguchi, one of the renowned senior members of the WG, and a former president of IASS has passed away on 29th of May.
  • Sudarshan Krishnan has organized the WG6 session for IASS2019.
  • WG6 has organized a plenary lecture on "the State of Arts of Tension and Membrane Structures", by inviting Marijke Mollaert and Kai-Uwe Bletzinger as lectueres, in IASS2019.
  • Ronald Shaeffer, co-chair of the WG6, has passed away on 17th November, 2019. He has served to the WG very actively and this was truly a big loss for the WG.

Activities during 2019-20

  • WG6 has started to find out possible reconsideration of activity of the WG, getting guidance from the state of the art given in the plenary lecture at IASS2019.
  • Sudarshan Krishnan has organized the WG6 session for IASS2020, which was postponed to 2021.


All current members of the Working Group, listed below, are members of the IASS. The Working Group welcomes additional members who have an interest in Tension Structures; those interested should please contact one of the Co-Chairs of the Working Group.

  • Prof. Dr. Ken'ichi KAWAGUCHI (Chair) - Japan
  • Prof. Marijke MOLLAERT (Co-Chair) - Belgium

Further Information for IASS Members

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