Masonry benefits contemporary architecture regarding sustainability and application to free-form construction. A masonry structure can be considered as an assemblage of conventional or interlocking rigid blocks with frictional joints. Although interlocking blocks’ resistance to sliding is higher and their construction is easier when compared to conventional blocks, there is no digital framework to design structurally-sound assemblages composed of interlocking blocks with diverse typologies. Therefore, SiDMACIB intends to develop a digital framework that supports designers in the design of structurally feasible and assemblable masonry assemblages of interlocking blocks. The framework will accomplish the following:

  • it allows designers to model an assemblage and to analyze its structural feasibility;
  • for the structurally infeasible model, it will automatically modify the geometry of the interlocking blocks’ connectors, making the model structurally feasible; 
  • during the geometric modification, it will avoid geometries which do not construct the assemblable blocks. 

To evaluate the structural feasibility, a novel experimental method will equate the frictional resistance of the corrugated face of an interlocking block to that of the flat face of an equivalent conventional block. Moreover, an extension of the limit analysis method is proposed, in which block resistance to sliding is different in different directions, and plan to use equations from the experimental method.

The research is planned as a 2-year project and will be carried out at the Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture of the University of Naples Federico II. A 2-month secondment is planned at the Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms of the Vienna University of Technology.


 This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 791235.