Inside the Institute
- 1st TERM
- 2nd TERM
Tonight we had the pleasure of hosting Jelle Feringa as the first of the IAAC Winter Lecture Series 2015. Jelle spoke about the evolution of work, recovering lost ground through the simultaneity of craft, economy and design. In particular in a context where the real-estate and following financial crises has made terrible onslaught on architectural practice.
Now, there is an emergence of new architectural practices whose new found modus operandi has a strong technological basis. A number of promising practices have been surfacing over recent years, leveraging architectural robotics beyond mere conceptual merit and stepping into the industrial arena.
In 1996, Bernard Cache’s company Objectile set up a factory utilising CNC milling machines. In 2000, architect Bill Massie built the Big Belt house, and more than a decade later companies like Facit Homes are revisiting the idea of the house as a product, where CNC is the enabling technology. Do these projects suggest a reconsideration of the objectives of early Modernism, to provide affordable and modern houses of architectural ambition? Where novel manufacturing processes, ranging from CNC to robotics are here to anew the architectural profession. To what extent is architecture’s the newfound vicinity of construction desirable, can architecture recover lost ground?
After the lecture Jelle, along with Dave Pigram, and IAAC Robotic Fabrication expert Alexandre Dubor, will all be developing a Robotic Fabrication Workshop, developing hot-wire cutting processes with the Kuka robot.
Digital Matter | Intelligent Construction // Workshop
DYNAMICS IN EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS
ETH CAAD and Chalmers Faculty: Manuel Kretzer, Stig Anton Nielsen
IAAC Faculty: Areti Markopoulou
IAAC Assistants: Alexandre Dubor, Carlos Bausa
External Guest: Raul Nieves, Prototipolab
In traditional architecture, a change in a material’s property, such as its volume or elasticity, was generally seen as a potential problem affecting the performance of built structures. Static planar surfaces related with stability or even durability have long dominated the architectural vision. When, as a consequence to the introduction of domotics, design disciplines started to explore kinetic and dynamic performances to increase efficiency, this was done following mere rules of mechanical actuators and heavy motor or servo-based systems plugged-in in whichever material surface.
Today, progress in novel and advanced materials coming from disciplines such as medicine or aerospace engineering raise the challenge of adaptation following smart, active or reactive materials that are able to alter their properties reacting to external stimuli. Changes in state, colour, and volume take place with no need of any computing device or mechanical actuator; rather the material itself has all these functions programmed into its persistence on a molecular scale.
In parallel, the 21st century challenges related with global warming, i.e. global temperatures that rise and cause climate change and global urbanization, raise new questions regarding our way of building and inhabiting. Architecture, will have to respond to extreme weather conditions, especially the rise of temperature in densely urbanized areas and smart materials will play a critical role in the architectural process of dealing with the current challenges of the global context.
Which architectural systems can be dynamic and react to environmental conditions such as temperature shifts?
Can buildings and cities perform as environmentally integrated living organisms?
How can architecture remember and learn from previous experiences, therefore evolving with embedded intelligence?
The workshop introduced students to a series of “smart materials” such as polymorph plastics, shape memory polymers, bioplastics, thermochromic pigments, temperature-sensitive and electroconductive materials for 3d printing.
The project proposals explored active materials and developed dynamic architectural proposals for extreme environmental conditions where temperatures in urbanized areas surpass 70 or 80 degrees Celsius. Such extreme temperatures are able to activate a series of smart materials that can change state when heated in high temperatures.