Living glass

Beginning with the premise that architectural elements might move in response to their environments, we conducted research on, designed, and built a full-scale kinetic surface. Our system collects input through an array of sensors, processes the input through BASIC Stamp II microcontrollers, and triggers local and global movement of a human-scale surface. In contrast to other kinetic wall projects, our surface is thin, lightweight, and transparent, with no motors or mechanical parts. Our system of movement is contained within our surface: we embed Dynalloy Flexinol wires in cast silicone and they contract due to electrical stimulus, causing gills to cut into the surface to open and close.We investigated surface materials, surface treatments, input sensors, and electrical circuits through experiments and multiple prototypes. We developed a full-scale system that responded in real time to multiple infrared sensors. With minor changes the system could be tuned for environmental control, detecting carbon dioxide in a room and in multiple grapefruit-sized zones, and "breathing" when levels are high. Here movement promotes health by allowing air flow when needed, and it provides information by signaling a high carbon dioxide level, which is normally invisible.

Source: thelivingnewyork.comAdded: 23 March 2007