Two Design Experiments in Playful Architectural Adaptability
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This paper presents two design experiments in playful architectural adaptability. The first is a tangible computational interface for the design of artifacts such as chairs. Framed within user-driven customization precedents and literature, it suggests ways in which computation can enable new ways of interacting with design knowledge. The second is an architectural installation that uses biometric data from human bodies to dynamically transform an occupant’s experience of an enclosed space. Documenting the development of a series of prototypes, this experiment outlines an area of design inquiry we term “biometrically-responsive architecture”, linking architectural spaces and the human body in new ways. Combining methods from architecture and computation, and emphasizing open-ended bodily interactions over symbolic transactions and goal-driven optimization, these two experiments outline ways in which architectural artifacts and spaces can interact with human designers and occupants in playful ways.
KeywordsComputational design Interactive architecture Mass-customization Design pedagogy Collaborative design Biometrics Responsive architecture Sensory mapping
The authors wish to thank Jeremy Ficca, Eddy Man Kim, Eric Brockmeyer and Scott Hudson who, as members of the advisory team, helped shape the projects described through both technical and conceptual contributions. Thanks to Mary-Lou Arscott, Dana Cupkova, Kai Gutschow and Art Lubetz for invaluable feedback and encouragement for these projects as members of the thesis faculty team. Thanks to Steve Lee for supporting a thesis studio open to experimental and speculative work. The ‘Biometric Architecture’ prototypes were produced with the support of the 2016 Fourth Year Design Award obtained by the second author, enabled by a generous gift by the Burdett Family to the Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture.
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