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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Reflexive Architecture Machines

Reflexive Architecture Machines
  • On February 20, 2010

Reflexive Architecture Machines envisions architecture that is self-organizing, capable of transforming itself in response to changes in its environment or use. It re-imagines how we shape and assemble conventional materials, like rubber, plastic, and wood through a combination of material and computational processes to develop more complex relations between parts and wholes. This fundamentally challenges the static nature of conventional building materials and sensitizes them to the ephemeral and dynamic qualities of environmental conditions like heat, moisture, air chemistry and gravity. This exhibition in the University of Buffalo Art Gallery presents faculty and student research in responsive materials conducted at the Center for Architecture and Situated Technologies at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning. It displays the products of the design lab, presented through drawings, models, tools, material studies and working prototypes that demonstrate the process by which projects are conceived, researched, and developed.

Projects on view include Allotropic Systems designed by Nicholas Bruscia, which uses flexible rubber molds to produce self-similar plastic casts. By reusing the same mold to produce one plastic sibling after another both plastic’s and rubber’s mutability is exploited to yield a considerable amount of formal variety.

Matthew T. Hume’s Warped offers experiments in plywood construction featuring a set of walls and arches composed from mechanically joined wood plys that change their shape in response to atmospheric moisture by twisting and bending between open and closed conditions. Omar Khan’s Gravity Screens and Open Columns explore the possibilities offered by elastomers for developing an organically kinetic architecture. They use the unique quality of this material to build collapsible and expandable structures that move similar to plants and respond to information gathered by electronic sensors. Omar Khan will also be talking at the Bartlett School of Architecture this coming Wednesday Evening. The lecture is free and open to the public. Details 6.30pm Wednesday 24 February 2010. Darwin Lecture Theatre, Darwin Building, Gower Street, London, WC1

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