Soft Kinetic Grid

Date: 2011
Client: n/a
Principal Investigators: Vera Parlac
Collaborators: n/a
Project Budget: Withheld
Research Assistants/ Project Team: Richard Cotter,
Todd Freeborn, Adam Onulov
Sponsors: University of Calgary Seed Grant
Publications: “Responsive Architecture Project: “Soft” Kinetic Grid” in Project Catalog of the 31st Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), University of Calgary, Calgary, 2011

This project is driven by an interest in adaptive systems in nature and a desire to explore the capacity of built spaces to respond dynamically and adapt to changes in the external and internal environment. The Soft Kinetic Grid project examines the capacity of the shape memory alloy to act as a point source and as a linear source of actuation of the grid. The SMA is embedded into a silicon tubing diagrid in order to test the extent and the nature of the grid movement. To better understand the gradient of movement of the actuated grid, the grid was restricted by anchoring joint points to a flat surface in a variety of configurations. Depending on the configuration, the behavior ranged from expanding cells to vertical movements of the grid’s regions. The Soft Kinetic Grid provided an important groundwork of the development of the SKiN project.