Archive for July, 2006
Filamentosa: An ultra-lightweigh skyscraper using an actuated tensegrity structure exo-skelital frame tethered internal core. (2004)
The Office For Robotic Architectural Media & The Bureau For Responsive Architecture (oframBFRA) is a small, award winning, architectural practice that designs buildings as well as systems. It is run by founder, Tristan d’Estree Sterk and Robert Skelton who joined as an equal partner in 2004. They specialize in the development of actuated structural & advanced sensor systems for use within the architecture."We conduct this work because many of the technologies that are necessary for producing responsive buildings don’t yet exist and because responsive technologies enable us to improve the performanceof our buildings. More than just building performance, we also hold the strong belief that this work enables us to design a whole new type of architecture that more closely reflects the social and technological conditions of our time."
Sensor/computer/actuator technologies are used to produce intelligent envelopes and structures that seek fresh relationships between the ‘building’ and ‘user’. Their buildings are covered by skins with the ability to alter their shape as the social and environmental conditions of the spaces within and around each building change. The image above shows a full-scale prototype of an actuated tensegrity structure for use within a responsive building envelope.
In particular I found an interesting paper on their website called "Using Actuated Tensegrity Structures to Produce a Responsive Architecture "
July 31st, 2006
Imagine it is the year 2100. The population of the Earth, doubling every 30 years or so, has reached nearly 50 billion souls. The price of a comfortable single-family house on one acre in New Jersey, doubling every 10 years or so, has reached 250 million dollars. While your back was turned, however, nanotechnology was invented and Utility Fog has become possible. Utility Fog is a kind of universal substance, programmable matter, that can simulate everything from air to solid rock. A kind of 3D TV screen, but instead of making any desired picture visible, it makes any desired shape tangible.
So we go off somewhere, rope off a square mile, dig down a few hundred feet for foundations, and erect a block of Utility Fog a mile high. It doesn't have to be a cube, of course, it can be any shape you like, and indeed can change shape from minute to minute. As for the objects inside, nanotechnology will take care of that: it can build anything from the simplest structures to the most complicated.
In a cubic mile of Fog there are over 125 billion cubic feet. That's 10 by 10 by 10 foot rooms for 125 million people. Not that you would be stuck in a 10 by 10 foot room. First off, it's not a fixed location, it's 1,000 cubic feet of ‘personal space’ wherever you go. Secondly, it's like a Star Trek ‘holodeck’, it can seem to be any place, filled with any people and objects you choose – a vast country estate, the deck of a wooden sailing ship in the mid-Atlantic (complete with driving rain and pitching decks), or everybody’s favourite, the London of Sherlock Holmes.
And that's just your bedroom… Read More (by John Storrs Hall, author of the book Nanofuture: What's Next For Nanotechnology.)
July 28th, 2006
Institut du Monde Arabe
The idea of a responsive architecture is simply fascinating. The façade of Jean Nouvel’s Institut du Monde Arabe comes immediately to mind, especially the way its lenses respond to changing light levels; likewise, the Medina umbrellas by Bodo Rasch which unfold at sunrise to shade the courtyard for morning prayer.
"But does our fascination lie in the actual movement of these elements — the lenses, the umbrellas? Could we not detect a deeper curiosity for the very idea of movement in architecture? In fact, elements in a building do not actually need to move in order to speak about motion" say Sarah Bonnemaison and Christine Macy of Dalhousie University. "We can think about the way the potential of movement was depicted in the tendrils of Art Nouveau, or the memory of motion in the grotesque earth-like pillars of Antonio Gaudi, or the mechanisms of movement in the designs of the Futurists and the Constructivists. The very idea of movement in a building is what gives it vitality and liveliness and when elements actually move, we can see this as an extension of the original idea.
Bonnemaison and Macy’s work with dancer’s motion transformed into tangible, habitable structures called Gestures
July 27th, 2006
I saw Rafaiel Lozano-Hemmer give a talk about his exciting work to the Bartlett School of Architecture earlier this year which included a short introduction to HOMOGRAPHIES while it was still in development. Now complete it is an interactive installation featuring 144 robotic fluorescent light fixtures controlled by 7 computerized surveillance systems. As people walk under the piece, the light tubes rotate to create labyrinthine patterns of light that are "paths" or "corridors" between them. In Homographies the "vanishing point" is not architectural, but rather connective, i.e. it is determined by who is there at any given time and varies accordingly. This gives a reconfigurable light-space that is based on flow, on motion, on lines of sight, —an intended contrast to the modernist grid that currently organizes the court. With the assistance of Conroy Badger, Matt Biederman, Sandra Badger, Natalie Bouchard and Will Bauer.
July 26th, 2006