Fabian Eidner is a multi-disciplinary researcher based in Stuttgart, Germany. His integrative research approach lies at the intersection of digital fabrication, computational techniques, material science and intuition, using algorithms as a language to mediate between the capacities therein.


//project_  behavioral fabrication seminar, ITECH
//date_ february 2023
//location_ university of stuttgart
//tools_  arduino, dynamixel-motors
//tutors_ tobias schwinn, mathias maierhofer, david stieler, samuel leder

    >...Equilibrium Morphologies demonstrates a behavior-based approach for the form-finding of tension-active material systems by leveraging force-feedback, motor-communication and material-behavior, to not only resolve complex material interdependencies, but also to explore them as multiple states of equilibrium.


In the realm of Cybernetics, System-Thinking was one of the fundamental concepts that fostered dialogues between human-machine interaction in open-ended operational systems. Similarly to the idea of an iterative process of form-finding, also System Theory promoted an understanding of an continuous organization process which is in constant fluctuation between states - states that communicate with their environment through a feedback loop.Through the impetus of feedback, the system negotiates internal and external pressures in an effort to reach a stable, well-balanced environment called: homeostasis, or in the figurative sense: equilibrium.

The morphology of tension-active structures is bound to an inextricable relationship between form, structure and how the structure is materialized. In this project these complex interdependencies are resolved through 8 interconnected dynamixel motors that are capable of sensing and transferring load-data to a digital interface and a bi-elastic woven fabric not only serves as the representative medium of the equilibrium but also builds communicative substrate for motor-communication.

//tension-to-action-functions & force-plotting

The Tension-Threshold (TT) is a user-defined range of values that dictate how strong the fabric should be tensioned. Only if every element is under pure tension, structural integrity is provided and the membrane is able to retain its shape.

The structural conditions of the structure can be categorized into 3 simple states: under-tensioned, tensioned, and over-tensioned. Each state is assigned with a function that steers the spool to account for the respective structural condition. Only if every motor senses torque values that are within the tension-threshold, the system stabilizes and an equilibrium state is found. Once the torque of the motor exceeds our defined load-limit, the spool releases the string and prevents over-tensioning of the membrane. In contrast, once tensioned was released, the motors are able to sense the drop in torque and respond with a spooling motion to bring the membrane back into equilibrium.


Contrary to hitherto predetermined physical methods of form-finding that only served for representational purposes, “Equilibrium Morphologies” interprets the idea of form-finding rather as a process of playful exploration and learning how tension-active structures behave in an ever-changing environment.


The maneuverable anchor points and the membrane itself can serve as an interactive modeling interface and thus provides the operator with the perks of real-time feedback and tangible modeling, all the while ensuring a tensioned state of the structure in a fully autonomous manner.