Izis Salvador Pinto

Research Title: Study of movable and deployable structures using ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cushions.
Research Areas: ETFE cushion, pneumatic structures, deployable structures, movable structures, lightweight structures.

Director of Studies: Will McLean
Second Supervisor: Professor Murray Fraser
Third Supervisor: Ben Morris
Starting Date and Mode of Study: 2010 Full-Time


Izis Salvador Pinto took a degree in architecture and urban planning at the Polytechnic University of Valencia and a degree in classical guitar and four years of viola at Valencia Conservatory of Music. She has always been successful in her studies receiving scholarships and finishing architecture one year early and music two years early. She later acquired a Master in concrete engineering from the Valencia University of Civil Engineering at the department of Construction Engineering. Last year she was at the Berlin Institute of Technology completing her Master´s Thesis about ETFE cushions under the direction of Prof Dr Mike Schlaich.

She worked as an architect and urban planner in 2004 at the Studio of Carlos  Henrique de Affonseca in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in 2005 at the Asadov Architectural Studio in Moscow, Russia, in 2006 at the office of the German government in Property and construction of Baden-Württemberg in Konstanz and in 2008 at the David Palterer Architectural Studio in Florence, Italy. In addition, from 1999 to 2001 she was the soloist guitarist of the Ballet of the University of Valencia.

Izis is doing a PhD in the University of Westminster at the Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment. It is possible because she has a Spanish scholarship of Caja Madrid Foundation awarded by the Prince and Princess of Spain.

She is a native speaker of Spanish and Portuguese and fluent in English, German, Italian and Catalan.

Thesis Synopsis

The ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cushion is a lightweight cladding system for buildings. This material was the result of a research program to develop an insulating material for the space industry that was resistant to friction and abrasion, immune to radiation and extremely effective at both high and low temperatures. Furthermore, the raw material is not a petrochemical derivative and is recyclable. For 25 years ETFE has been used in numerous buildings and public spaces but usually as static and fixed structures. The research will investigate how the lightweight properties of pneumatic structures could be utilised for deployable or movable structures. The movement or folding of pneumatic ETFE cushions could create open and flexible spaces. The combination of pneumatic, lightweight and deployable structures will be the basis of this research and will create new construction possibilities.

Teaching and Employment Interests

Izis is interested in teaching and visiting lecturer positions in Architecture and Urban Planning at university level.

Contact Details and Further Information

[email protected]