methods for soft adaptive environments

We have the opportunity to rethink the interrelations architecture has with the environment and with human behavior. Adaptive systems are gaining traction in the discourse as relationships between the natural environment, the built environment, and its users evolve over time. This project, Pneuma-Technics, investigates pneumatic architectural systems, composite materials and components, computation, physical computing and sensory actuation. The objective is to advance a developing typology of responsive systems: a breathing architecture that is sensitive to its changing environment. Pneuma-Technics is actuated breath in built form - pneuma, the Greek word for “to breathe,” and technê, the Greek word for technique/craft in art.

The project imagines the potentials of a soft, interactive surface that allows for the passage of light, air, and human vision, yet maintains enclosure and insulation as necessary for architectural performance. These innovations project new futures onto traditional methods of architectural production and engage in nontraditional materials to develop unique environments. Pneuma-Technics is a body of research that consists of tangible experiments for the advancement of soft environments. We design for these potential futures as materials, methods, and collaborative action evolve the discourse toward adaptive technologies.

year: 2015
location : Ann Arbor, MI
program : Commercial, Grocery & Hotel/Office Tower
team : Daniel Fougere & Ryan Goold
advisor : Kathy Velikov
acknowledgements : University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, ACADIA