A shell is a structure defined by a curved surface. It is thin in the direction perpendicular to the surface, but there is no absolute rule as to how thin it has to be. It might be curved in two directions, like a dome or a cooling tower, or it may be cylindrical and curve only in one direction.
However, this definition would also include tension structures such as sails, balloons and car tires. If one wanted to exclude tension structures, one might stipulate that shells have to work in both tension and compression, but how about masonry vaults that can only work in compression? Most people would describe masonry vaults as a type of shell structure. It is a vast subject where aesthetics and performance are woven together.
Students will be introduced to the theoretical framework of shells, highlighting the aesthetics, geometry and structural integration in shells. Students will require to choose an application-based shell design. Digital and Physical Form finding methods will be adopted for quick sketches. A systematic approach to generate, analyze and optimize shells will be taught though computation and not calculation.