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Thank you to everyone for helping to make IASS 2018 a success! 

We look forward to seeing you all again next year in Barcelona.



About the Symposium

In July 2018, the annual Symposium of the IASS – International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures – will take place in Boston, an American hub of academics and innovation. Hosted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the symposium aims to bring together leading designers and researchers working in the fields of structural engineering and architecture from around the world.

The symposium theme, Creativity in Structural Design, celebrates work in the built environment that pushes beyond the status quo and synthesizes across disciplines to solve important problems of today and the future. Empowered by recent advances in computation, materials, and fabrication, creative structural design is expanding possibilities for shell and spatial structures.

IASS 2018 Boston will take place from July 16 to July 20 on the campus of MIT, with the iconic shell structure of Kresge Auditorium as the principal venue. 

About the IASS

The IASS, founded by Eduardo Torroja in 1959, seeks to achieve further progress by an exchange of ideas among all those interested in lightweight structural systems such as lattice, tension, membrane and shell structures, and in the creative integration of architecture and structural engineering more broadly. The Journal of the IASS is in its 58th year of publication. More information can be found at the organization’s website:

Previous Symposia

The conference has rotated around the world annually since the early 1960s. Current and recent venues have included Hamburg (2017), Tokyo (2016), Amsterdam (2015), Brasilia (2014), Wrocław (2013), Seoul (2012), London (2011) and Shanghai (2010). The last IASS symposium hosted in USA was held in 1994 in Atlanta with the focus on spatial, lattice, and tension structures. The full proceedings of symposia since 2013 are posted on the IASS website.


The main symposium venue will be MIT’s iconic Kresge Auditorium, an important thin-shell structure designed by Eero Saarinen and completed in 1954. Beyond this primary space, the symposium will include events hosted at other key locations on the MIT campus, including the Media Lab.  The wider Boston area is home to additional landmarks in shell and spatial structures, and the symposium’s technical tour will highlight such works by Pier Luigi Nervi, Buckminster Fuller, and the Guastavino Company.

Social Program

Social events will be organized for the participants and accompanying persons including a welcome reception, a gala dinner on a Boston Harbor cruise, an event for young designers, and other events, including a special one for young participants.

From the Organizers

The IASS holds special meaning for all of us, and we have greatly enjoyed and benefited from attending many of the organization’s symposia over the past years.  It is an honor to host this vibrant group in the U.S. for the first time in 24 years, and we thank you in advance for your support in joining us.


John Ochsendorf, MIT

Caitlin Mueller, MIT

William Baker, SOM

Sigrid Adriaenssens, Princeton University

John Abel, Cornell University and Former President of the IASS

Thank You to Our Sponsors!















Nohmura Foundation for
Membrane Structures Technology


















IASS 2018 Boston will take place on the MIT Campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.