INTERVAL OF ENERGY AND MATTER
Master Thesis (MArch)
Construction Material Technology Platform
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Professors: Michele Howard, Univ.-Prof. & Dr. Jochen Käferhaus
Consulting Engineer: Dipl.-Ing. Hans Frey (waagner biro)
One of architectures most fundamental tasks has always been, and still is to provide shelter. Climate or comfort in space is how space becomes habitable architecture. However, the intrusion of technical devices that maintain the climates of our buildings as stable environments is happening on the expense of the greatest architectural value – space.
This is largely because the interaction of the out- side and the inside environment does not occur at its forefront – the building envelope or the façade. The first layer of interaction of our bodies and the environmental influences that affect us is the skin. It regulates and exchanges, but also responds to the environmental conditions, maintaining the equilibrium of our bodies. The façade, often referred to as the skin of a building should perform in the same manner. Responsive façade systems are emerging, but largely do not embody real interaction with the environment. The interaction in most current systems occurs through the usage of an array of sensing and processing devices, motors, all of which use means of energy input.
The thesis explores the study of devices that can respond to the environment by using natural physical processes for their inter- action. The harnessing of the intelligence from materials and matter that can absorb and use the energy coming from the environment enables these systems to establish a more direct response and ecology of the inside and outside. The investigative process is done through a series of explorative models or devices responding or interacting with natural phenomena solely on the principles from the world of physics and chemistry rendered in dynamic processes that do not need any source of external energy, other than the environmental ones for their interaction. These studies should also encourage us to think about domains of architecture that have been handed over to other professions but are one of the most important and fundamental parts of it.