Glue is the future of architecture. At least that’s how architect Greg Lynn sees it. And he’s not alone. “Mechanical assembly is already waning in many industries,” Lynn says. “An airplane now is glued together. A car now is glued together. Even a lot of appliances are being glued together.” So why not skyscrapers?
In a recent article for New Scientists New Urbanist column, futurist Geoff Manaugh of BLDG BLOG argues that the typical building’s structural system may soon see an overhaul. Instead of steel held together with bolts and welds, petroleum-based composite materials and carbon fiber panels fixed in place with glue could serve as both a building’s structure and skin.
If high hold glue in conjunction with modern composite materials proves to be as reliable and efficient a system as advertised (the flammability of adhesive was been blamed for the rapid spread of the recent hotel fire in Dubai), architecture could see a major revolution in the way buildings are designed and constructed. Manaugh compares these materials to rigid fabrics; and if applied like fabric, architects could utilize new methods of draping, folding and tucking to create space—with no hemming required.