The technical definition of a minimal surface is a surface of zero mean curvature (such as a plane). Other well known examples that have equal oppossite overall curvature are the catenoid;the helicoid,the enneper surface, and the more recently discovered Costa-Hoffman Meeks surface. [Pottman, [Burry, 261]
….surfaces hide a secret transparency, a thickness without a thickness a volume without a volume, an imperceptible quantity.” Paul Virilo 1971
…..consider surfaces not as boundaries, but as bodies of which one dimension vanishes” Carl Friedrich Gauss 1827
In the last decade digital design tools have allowed designers to re-explore geometrical territories only understood and manipulated to those related in the fields of mathematics and physics. Up to this point the architecture discourse had mostly been based on the theoretical and pragmatical expression between the distinction of form and structure. Computational generative strategies allowed for non-linear design processes to blur that distinction opening a new era in the integration of complex geometrically derived forms in contemporary architecture. This digital discourse has only transcended at the formalistic level (structure optimization, self-organizing structures, parametric design, algorithmic surfaces, etc.) mostly in the academic realm and in a few architectural practices around the world. Architecture has proven not only to be about formalistic endeavors to suffice the architect’s never-ending quest of beauty. Architecture also deals with greater socio-cultural/economic and climatic challenges continuously testing the design practice to generate innovative design solutions manifested in physical objects.