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Esther Rivas Adrover is an author, architectural researcher, educator and artist with a particular interest in architectural design, transformable architecture, deployable structures and kinetic design. After teaching Advanced Descriptive Geometry to architecture students in Spain she studied architecture at Oxford Brookes University where she later taught architectural design at degree and postgraduate level. Her interest in complex geometries led her to work for practices including Zaha Hadid Architects, where she worked on various projects in the UK and around the world. Her drawings have been exhibited several times at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Esther’s interest in complex geometries led to a research piece on Transforming Architecture, Deployable Structures, which formed the subject for her thesis, which was nominated for the RIBA Dissertation Prize and won the Assael Scholarship. In recognition of her work, Esther was also awarded the RIBA Prize for the ‘Highest Standard in all-round Excellence’ in 2007. In 2015 she published a book with the title ‘Deployable Structures’, commissioned by Laurence King Publishing. She is currently undertaking research on the subject at the University of Cambridge. During her research at Cambridge she has developed several methods and inventions to make transformable surfaces that can expand and contract with scissor hinged and origami deployable structures. Her contributions to the field of transformable architecture have resulted in several publications, including her expandable origami, published in the Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (A new hybrid type of deployable structure: origami-scissor hinged). She has also lectured and run workshops nationally and internationally.


PhD candidate, Architecture, University of Cambridge, Murray Edwards College (New Hall), 2015 – Present

Dip Architecture, Oxford Brookes University, 2005-2007

BA Hons Architecture, Oxford Brookes University, 2002-2005


Rivas-Adrover, Esther, “ORIGAMI-SCISSOR Hinged Geometry Method”, Origami7, The proceedings from the 7th International Meeting on Origami in Science, Mathematics, and Education held in Oxford UK, Volume Three: Engineering One, Ed. J.Lang, Bolitho and You, Tarquin, 2018,  pp 779-793.

Rivas-Adrover, Esther, “A New Hybrid Type of Deployable Structure: ORIGAMI-SCISSOR Hinged”, Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures, Vol. 59 No.3, September n. 197, 2018, pp. 183-190.

Rivas-Adrover, Esther, “Transforming Architecture Made With Scissor Hinged Deployable Structures: Alhambra Pavilions in Cambridge Market Square”, The 5th International Conference on Architecture and Built Environment S.ARCH held in Venice, Italy, Get It Published, 04.055, 2018, pp. 760-770.

Rivas-Adrover, Esther, "Classification Of Geometry For Deployable Structures Used For Innovation: Design Of New Surfaces With Scissor 2 Bar, And Form Generation Method Of Relative Ratios", International Journal of Computational Methods and Experimental Measurements, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 464–474, 2017.


Rivas-Adrover, Esther, "Estructuras Desplegables: Arquitectura, Ingeniería y Diseño ", Promopress: España, 2015.



As well as having taught architectural design at degree and postgraduate level, ERA has lectured and run workshops nationally and internationally in several Universities and conferences. These include Oxford Brookes University, University of Cambridge, University of Westminster, University of Oxford, University of East London, University of Greenwich, University of Siena in Italy and Universidad Cardenal Herrera in Valencia in Spain.


Exhibitor at the Royal Academy of Arts in London at the Summer Exhibition in the Architecture Room with the drawing ‘Library Tower and Archive in the River Thames’ exhibited in 2009 and ‘The Geometry Machine, Crosby Beach, Liverpool’ exhibited in 2011. 


Architectural design

Architectural pedagogy

Complex geometry

Transformable architecture

Deployable structures

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