Categories
Vera Parlac

Differentiated Topographies 1: Repetitive Topographies

Date: 2014
Client: n/a
Principal Investigator: Vera Parlac
Collaborators: n/a
Project Budget: withheld
Research Assistants/ Project Team: n/a
Funding Agencies: n/a
Publications: n/a

Differentiated Topographies is a research project that explores the ways of constructing and re-constructing structures through aggregation using small components. Repetitive Topography is the first one in the series, made from components same in size and similar in shape. The final configuration of the full-scale construct is governed by the stability and transparency requirements. Stability is achieved in two ways: by interlocking the components through simple slot friction connection and by pattern of aggregation (forming one-module short extensions, similar to buttress structure, that run perpendicular to the general direction of the surface). Transparency of the surface can vary by changing the basic shape of the component. This particular surface presented here uses two different shapes. One of them is more enclosed reducing the see-through effect in some areas. The structure is able to adapt to variety of spaces and configurations due to the shape and connectivity of its components. The project is based on the concept of structures built in nature such as bird nests or beaver dams. It exploits the notion of resilience achieved through redundancy of connections and elements. This concept of redundancy is applied in a design, fabrication, and construction of the Repetitive Topography project. The structure was installed as a classroom partition in the outdoor education classroom and built with seven grade students (providing a learning experience for them). It is positioned to divide the bicycle and outdoor gear storing area of the classroom from the lecture and work area.

Categories
Andrea Patry Kevin Spaans Matthew Parker Vera Parlac

Soft Agile Spaces

Date: 2014
Client: n/a
Principal Investigator: Vera Parlac
Collaborators: n/a
Project Budget: Withheld
Research Assistants/ Project Team: Matt Parker,
Andrea Patry, Kevin Spaans
Sponsors: University of Calgary Seed Grant
Publications:  “Material as Mechanism in Agile Spaces”, in B.Kolarevic and V. Parlac Building Dynamics: Exploring Architecture of Change, United States, Routledge, June 2015

Project Description: Soft Agile Spaces project relies on non-mechanical material-based actuation using shape memory alloy springs (SMA) that are integrated into the structural lattice of the surfaces. The movement resulting from the material-based actuation of the lattice is augmented by an inflatable soft robot surface that extends the lattice system. The network of sensors distributed throughout the surface serves to enable information exchange between the surface, environment, and people. The Soft Agile Space project proposes an adaptable and responsive building envelope capable of sensing its environment and responding to it by changing its shape or revealing small occupiable spaces to passers-by. These spaces can provide shelter or mediate the temperature of the environment, making public spaces in harsh, cold climates more vibrant.

 

The “intelligence” of the surface’s physical environment is capable of incorporating climate and human-related conditions into its working. By sensing the environmental temperature, the surface can mediate between the internal and external environments.

 

Categories
Kalman Babkovic Vera Parlac

Changing Field

Date: 2014
Client: n/a
Principal Investigator: Vera Parlac
Collaborators: n/a
Project Budget: Withheld
Project Team: Kalman Babkovic
Sponsors: LID Laboratory for Integrative Design
Publications: “Changing Fields”, in Facing the Future, Exhibition Book, 2nd International Scientific Conference and Exhibition, Gallery of Science & Technology, Belgrade, Serbia, 2014

Changing field project is a responsive surface activated by a presence of people. The surface is actuated using non-mechanical actuation (shape memory alloy springs). The movement of the surface is facilitated by employing structural and material behavior of the aggregated surface. The project is part of an ongoing research into kinetic material system with focus on non-mechanical actuation. It proposes an adaptive surface capable of altering its shape and responding to presence of people and flow of information.