Monday, November 8, 2010

SOM + SCI-Arc, Responsive Kinetic façade

FLARE, by STAAB Architects

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Decoi Architects, Aegis Hyposurface

Interactive kinetic wall with pneumatic reactive actuators built into a basic structural frame. The wall reacts to several stimuli: light, sound and movement;

Ivonne Chan Vili, School of Design at the University of Leeds, Shape Memory Alloys, Textiles
Thermostrictive textile with temperature sensitive wires, for interiors;

Bryan Boyer, BalnaeNY
Neoprene membrane with Electroactive Polymers (EAP): Electromagnetically sensitive thermal baths with kinetic surface-forming components; deformable floors and walls;

Becker Gewers Kuhn and Kuhn Architects, Museum of Modern Art, Munich, Germany (1992)
Photochromatic glazed building envelope

Peter Marino Associates, High Rise façade, Chanel Headquarter, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
Electrooptical glass, LED

Kieran Timberlake Associates, SmartWrap Pavilion, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, NY
Polyvalent building skin; film with OLED diodes, with organic photovoltaic cells (OPV); film with Phase Change material (PCM)

GLASSX: light directing insulation glazing system with sal hydrate PCM. Operating principle at high and low solar positions.

Reef Installation - Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA and Storefront for Art and Architecture, NY
By Los Angeles Designers Rob Ley (Urbana) and Joshua G. Stein (Radical Craft).This kinetic sculptural installation takes advantage of new Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) technology to create a responsive environment.

James Carpenter Design Associates
Dichroic light field on a large plane of semi-reflective glass. Façade system.

Mike Davies, polyvalent wall.
Exterior wall as a thin system with layers of weather skin, sensors and actuators, and photoelectrics.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Phase 02: Smart Materials: characteristics, responses, and applications

Assignment 2.2

You will focus on engineered and scientific applications of smart materials and their use as smart products, and on their effects and actions on high performance building envelopes.
The analysis of design, engineering and manufacturing constraints related to emerging materials are linked to case studies of innovative skin/cladding/surface solutions within an integrated building envelope/assembly of components and systems.

Accordingly to your interests, you will link academic research with the practical experience of fabrication’s methods and techniques, opening up a dialog with the industry and the latest technologies applied to smart materials.
You are expected to contact leading academic figures and researchers in order to share updated information, but also companies and manufacturers to collect material samples and a variety of data on existing and/or future products and architectures.

Particularly, you will be involved with:

- 3D performance simulations, 3D modeling of your multi-layered building envelope;

Additionally, Construction IV Students will have to produce:

- Digital mock-ups/prototypes in appropriate scale;
- Technical drawings with a clear understanding of the building components and building systems.

Due November 16th, 2010
Phase 02: Smart Materials: characteristics, responses, and applications

Assignment 2.1

As we already read, smart materials can be defined within two typologies:

SM – Type 1: Property changing-Intrinsic response variation of material to specific internal or external stimuli (Thermochromic, Magnetorheological, Thermotropic, Shape memory):

SM – Type 2: Energy exchanging- responses can be computationally controlled or enhanced (Photovoltaic, Thermoelectric, Piezoelectric, Photoluminescent, and Electrostrictive)

SM1-Input energy (stimulus field) causes changes at the materials’ molecular level which results in property changes. For Ex. Thermal energy causes thermochromics to change colors. The output is a property changed response, new material property.

SM2-Input energy changed to a different form. Energy-exchanging. For ex. Piezoelectric materials (convert mechanical energy-deformation by a force- into electrical energy and vice-versa)

We will try to explore more about:
- How SMs function, how they act and for what purpose (dependent on the material composition);
- What do we want SMs to do?
- Which information do I need to know in order to control and influence the SM response?

- Color-changing (photochromics-color+light - photochromics films; thermocromics-color+temperature; mechanochromics-color+deformations; chemochromics-color+chemical environments; electrochromics-color+voltage-liquid crystals). Larger association: transparency and color change; translucency, reflectivity, Dichroic materials (in glasses and films, colors may change accordingly to the angle of view); Photochromic Glass;
- Polymeric products: filaments, strands, films, sheets. Radiant color film; Radiant mirror film; Image redirection film;
- Phase-changing (gas, liquid or solid state that changes when temperature or pressure changes);
- Smart conductors (for ex. conducting Polymers);
- Smart fabrics.

- Photovoltaic technologies (energy input, electricity output);
- Light Emitting materials: Light Emitting Diodes (LED-OLED- energy input, voltage output); Light-emitting Polymers;
- Piezoelectric materials (piezo=pressure in Greek; the pressure-mechanical energy (inducing deformation) is converted to electrical energy and vice-versa); Piezoelectric Films;
- Shape memory alloys. For ex. Nitinol (the material can be deformed but remembers its original shape-temperature application).

You are to conceive the study of a polyvalent smart envelope as a system of different layers: structure, skin, smart material application, and, in some cases, sensors and actuators.


Michelle Addington, Daniel Schodek: Smart Materials and Technologies, Architectural Press, 2005
Chapter 4, Chapter 5.1 (pag.115-126), Chapter 7

Mori, T.: Immaterial/Ultramaterial: Architecture, Design and Materials, W. W. Norton & Co. Inc., 2002

Schodek, D., Bechthold, M., Griggs, K., Kao, K., Steinberg, M.: Digital Design and Manufacturing: CAD/CAM Applications in Architecture. NY 2004, John Wiley and Sons.

Monday, September 20, 2010
Engineering and scientific news on research, technology, products, events.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Students Work Guide

Every team/student is searching for information that is somehow linked to the other teams/students’ topics.

Organization systems: analyze the material classification approaches in Architecture, Engineering, Material Science, Design fields (Interior design, Landscape design, Fashion-Textile). You will try to uncover the point of view of these approaches: they could be more descriptive, more on a particular application, or on the understanding of the basic internal structure of materials. For example: the Engineering System focuses on the performances of materials and structures.

You should differentiate between traditional and alternative classification systems.

Internal general structure of materials: particularly involved with the arrangement of atoms and molecules held together with different types of chemical bonding forces. They will work with solid materials and they will concentrate in their intrinsic properties and composition (crystalline solids, polycrystalline solids, amorphous solids). The structure of material influences the final characteristics and properties of the material, at the micro and macro levels. They will analyze the arrangements of the structures components and their orders.

Intrinsic properties: are determinate by the molecular structure (= chemical composition) of the material. You could try to define the strength and the hardness of a material related to forces, and also to the substance’s melting and boiling points. Strength is an intrinsic property. Mechanical properties are intrinsic (elastic, toughness) as well as physical properties (conductivity, heat, density) and chemical properties (reactivity, valence, solubility).

Extrinsic properties: are defined by the macrostructure of the material, not just by the composition alone. Optical and many acoustical properties are considered extrinsic. Optical properties are: reflectivity, transmissivity, absorptivity.

Most materials undergo property changes with an input of energy. The changes are direct and reversible in one or more of their properties.

After a definition of intrinsic and extrinsic properties, you should concentrate on the 5 categories of material properties: mechanical, thermal, electrical, chemical, optical. They indicate the energy stimuli that every material must respond to. For ex.: Mechanical properties determine how a material will behave when subjected to a load (weight, force, impact, torsion). The behavior that results from these loads includes strain, deformation, or fracture. Mechanical properties: they depend on what (factors)? Those factors are influenced by what (material type and composition)? Now, for each of the 5 properties you should give us material examples. Metals have thermal properties (thermal conductivity). If you talk about wood, you should associate a category of properties to it, etc...

Characteristics of traditional materials and high performance materials according to their behavior: they have a fixed response to external stimuli. What does it mean? What happen to their properties under normal conditions? Following the proposed classification, you must search for primary and derivate materials. You will find, besides more traditional polymers (plastics, rubber, etc.), materials like temperature-responsive polymers and shape memory polymers that are classified as smart materials. Important is the understanding of properties, behaviors and responses to stimuli. SM sense and react to stimuli and environmental conditions. Most everyday materials have physical properties, which cannot be significantly altered.

Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology : technologies associated with materials and processes at the nanometer scale, 10-9m. The combination of smart material and nanotechnology provides many advantages, realizes novel designs that could not be achieved in traditional engineering and offers greater opportunities as well as challenges. The field of Smart Materials and Nanotechnology is very diverse with application ranging from bioengineering to photonics. Nanotechnology is rapidly developed and it permits control of matter at the level of atoms and molecules which would form the building blocks of smart materials. Smart materials are thus evolving from traditional fiber reinforced composite through functionally graded materials to the current nanotechnologically grown materials. These materials will thus have the capability of closely mimicking (biomimetics) nature enabling structures to act like human skin, or a leaf's chlorophyll. The development of true smart materials at the atomic scale is still some way off, although the enabling technologies are under development (from ‘’). Nanotechnology will be able to program material properties and to build materials from scratch. It would be interesting to explore speculative potential applications.

Due Sept. 14, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Phase 01: Definition and Classification

Reference - Reading Tip:

Michelle Addington, Daniel Schodek: Smart Materials and Technologies, Architectural Press, 2005

In this book materials and technologies are categorized by behavior- physical and phenomenological- and overlaid with increasing component and system complexity.

Smart Materials characteristics:

SM – Type 1: Property changing-Intrinsic response variation of material to specific internal or external stimuli (Thermochromic, Magnetorheological, Thermotropic, Shape memory):

SM – Type 2: Energy exchanging- responses can be computationally controlled or enhanced (Photovoltaic, Thermoelectric, Piezoelectric, Photoluminescent, Electrostrictive)

A smart material has an inherent “active” behavior that makes it to fit into several categories. For example: electrochromic glass is simultaneously a glazing material, a window, a curtain wall system, a lighting control system or an automated shading system. It has a lot to do with new technologies.

It is necessary a multi-layered classification of SM according to its physical behavior (what it does) and the phenomenological behavior (the results, the effects, the actions, what do we want the material to do?, the architect’s intention). The SM produce direct effects on the energy environments (luminous, thermal, and acoustic), or indirect effects on systems (energy generation, mechanical equipment).

Phase 01: Definition and Classification

Assignment 1.1

Topic 1- Traditional Architectural Classifications:

  • USA- Construction Specifications institute (CSI)- Marshall
  • Other Classification Systems (Material Science, Engineering)- Marshall
  • Material ConneXion
  • Technotextiles (see for books on Fashion Design materials)- Ramon

Topic 2 and 3- Traditional Materials characteristics:

TM- Fixed responses to external stimuli (material properties remain constant under normal conditions).

TM may range from:

Topic 2

a) Primary material classes:

  • Metals (pure metals, transitional metal);- Will
  • Ceramics; -Chris D.
  • Polymers; - Jon Pace

Topic 3

b) Derivated classes:

  • Composites (High performance strength or stiffness applications. Reinforcing materials, Resin and Matrix materials, Core materials). - Aaron

Properties of materials

Topic 4- Intrinsic properties: internal molecular structure- chemical composition-( for ex. strenght); related to material behavior. Knowledge of atomic and molecular structure (to understand the intrinsic properties) of materials. Bonding forces.- Pedro

Topic 5- Extrinsic properties :macrostructure- (for ex. optical properties).- Jose

Topic 6 - Total of 5 material properties indicative of the energy stimuli that every material must respond to:

  • mechanical (Scott),
  • electrical (Scott),
  • thermal (Jonah A.),
  • chemical (Yost),
  • optical (Alan).

Topic 7- Nanomaterials (Nanotechnology)- Chris P., Mark