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High-Performance Facade Panels

 

The project is a three-year collaboration between the LID, DIALOG architects and Ferguson Corporation to develop high-performance façade panels with a specific focus on using them for retrofitting the Castell Building located in downtown Calgary. The first year was focused on analyzing the envelope and developing a generative, form-finding design and fabrication workflow. The generative process is focused on integrating thermal and digital fabrication parameters to generate high-performance, customized façade panels for retrofitting. In addition to solar energy-based performance metrics, the developed workflow incorporates geometric parameters constituting the form and an evaluation system for multi-material façade panels. Fabrication parameters that consider planarity, compound curvature, member length, connection nodes and materiality for robotic fabrication are also included in the simulation . The compression steel nodes are fabricated by our partner Ferguson Corporation. Machinic operations such as robotic glulam bending and milling are part of the fabrication process developed at LID. An ad-hoc bending machine based on electric linear actuators was digitally and physically developed. The design to fabrication workflow was tested by fabricating a 1:1 façade prototype during the summer of 2021.

CREDITS:

Principal Investigator Alicia Nahmad

Graduate Research Assistants Matt Walker, JoLynn Yen, Youness Youssefi

Partners DIALOG Architects Ferguson Corporation

Funding Agency MITACS Accelerate

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Mediated Drawings


During the summer of 2021 The Laboratory for Integrative Design presented an interactive week-long exhibition: Mediated Drawings. The performance launched on July 12th at the City Building Design Lab in Downtown Calgary inviting the public to engage with an interactive platform mixing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and industrial robotic arms. Bridging the divide between human spatial experience and digital perspectives, Mediated Drawings is a platform that speculates how robots and AI can augment and democratize artistic agency in creative processes. Mediated Drawings aim to introduce digital perspectives into human narratives. Participants engage with a robotically embodied Artificial Intelligence through the Mediated Drawings App. The AI reimagines Calgary corners based on semantic input from the participants. Everyone was invited to engage with different corners of Calgary – art, architecture, urban and green spaces. Participants were prompted to assign emotional meaning to these spaces. Images are imbued with emotional sense from a human perspective. An alternative machine intelligence generates original representations of these places, infused with the emotional meaning assigned by the humans. The machine intelligence then physically produces the line drawings of these speculative spaces through Freddie our robotic arm. Mediated drawings use OpenaAI CLIP to modify the learner weights of a styleGAN model based on the prompts that the public selects. It then uses canny edges to detect the lines that are drawn in the windows of the City Building Design Lab by Freddie the robot Freddie’s drawing performances were presented online and in person at the City Building Design Lab from the City Hall C-Train platform: July 12th to July 16th, 2020. A gallery of finished works was presented at the City Hall train platform for the remainder of the summer.

CREDITS:

Principal Investigator Alicia Nahmad

LID Collaborators Guy Gardner

Graduate Research Assistants Sam Baril, Carter McHugh, Anagha Patil

Funding Agency SSHRC Connection

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Log-A-Rythm

 

 

 

Log-A-Rythm In 2021, LID co-director Alicia Nahmad got shortlisted for the Tallin Biennale 2022. Our proposal responds to the topic of Slow Building by connecting the topics of mindful automation, participatory craft-making and appreciation of human-based physical processes. Our proposal explores techniques related to the longstanding Estonian traditions of log-house construction and joinery. Traditional materials and fabrication methods have been investigated, augmented and put to reinterpreted uses.
The pavilion takes the form of a doubly curved form-found structure. The fluid nature of the form aims to combine state-of-the-art computational design and automation technologies with traditional fabrication techniques. The design takes advantage of the heritage and sustainability of green log wood to create the structure. Logs of varying diameters of Estoniant timber are packed to achieve the curved geometry. The logs are stacked in such a way as to achieve a duality of textures – a smooth exterior in contrast with the rich texture on the other.

The proposal uses lashing as a joinery strategy to avoid unsustainable milling and a robotic enabled lathe to shape the logs for packing .

Two woven mesh patterns of ropes, with a variable offset, are used to lash and tension the logs. Along with the varying log lengths, this increases the bending capacity where bending moments are highest.
Our inhabitable structure could be dismantled in legacy mode giving each visitor a log to keep and make into a stool, table or post-process into a wood product.
It was an honour to be named one of the finalists out of 119 entries

CREDITS:
Design Alicia Nahmad, Andy Watts, Vishu Bhooshan
Structure Summum Engineering
Team Anagha Patil, Mauricio Villagra

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Spatial Curved Timber Laminas


This summer the Laboratory for Integrative Design (LID) collaborated with Zaha Hadid Architects Computation & Design Research Group (ZHACODE) to deliver two 5-day design to fabrication workshops in the context of the international conferences ‘Digital Futures 2021’ (28th June – 2nd of July) and ‘CAAD Futures 2021’ (12th – 15th of July). The workshops were an exploration on innovative Timber Tectonics. As part of the workshops a full-scale prototype was built at LID. The prototype has a bounding box of 2.5 x 25. x 3m. It was form-found using 3D graphic statics and built with an ad-hoc design and fabricated bending machine based on linear actuators and curved glulam laminas. The prototype ‘Spatial Curved Timber Laminas’ works as a proof of concept of the graphic statics structure form found by ZHACODE and the corresponding fabrication techniques developed at the LID. Everyone is invited to visit the collaborative prototype Spatial Curved Timber Laminas at the LID.

CREDITS:

Design ZHA CODE : Vishu Bhooshan, Henry Louth SAPL LID : Alicia Nahmad

Fabrication Design ZHA CODE : Taizhong Chen, Vishu Bhooshan, Henry Louth SAPL LID : Alicia Nahmad

Fabrication & Assembly SAPL LID: Matt Walker, Youness Yousefi, Jo-Lynn Yen, Anagha Patil, Guy Gardner, Alicia Nahmad

Documentation SAPL : Matt Walker, Youness Yousefi, Jo-Lynn Yen, Anagha Patil, Alicia Nahmad ZHA CODE : Taizhong Chen, Henry Louth, Vishu Bhooshan

With Support from ZHA CODE : Jianfei Chu, Edward Meyers, Philip SInger AA: Jean Nicola Dackiw

Student Participants CAAD Futures Sania Halim, Soubhi Jabal, Elisabeth Kathryn, Aria Sanei, Hussein Hamed, Mansur Arevalo Kishan Prajapati, Jayanaveenaa Periyasamy, Mirian Maia, Diego Pinochet

Digital Futures Zebing Xu, Anuj Mittal, Anagha Patil, Deebak Tamilmani, James Lo, Emi Shiraishi, Mauricio Villagra D.,Gaurav Janendra, Yuerao Chen, M. Arkan Haqqi, Juan Antonio Brito

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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Branko Kolarevic Lauren Dynes Mackenzie Nixon Neal Philipsen Nickolas Dykstra Sadaf Rabani Salman Khalili Vera Parlac

Building Dynamics Symposium

Date: 2013
Client: n/a
Principal Investigators: Branko Kolarvic, Vera Parlac
Project Budget: Withheld
Research Assistants/ Project Team (Role): Neal Philipsen (Website Design), Nickolas Dykstra, Lauren Dynes, Salman Khalili, Mackenzie Nixon, Sadaf Rabani
Sponsors: Oldcastle Building Envelope, LID Laboratory for Integrative Design, University of Calgary Faculty of Environmental Design, DIRTT, Haworth
Publications: Book “Building Dynamics: Exploring Architecture of Change”
Website buildingdynamics.org

We have seen over the past decade an increasing interest in the capacity of built spaces to respond dynamically to changes in external and internal environments and to different patterns of use. The principal idea is that two-way relationships could be established between the buildings and the environment and users. Changes in the environment (or users) would affect the configuration of built spaces and vice versa. The result is an architecture that self-adjusts – an architecture that is adaptive, interactive, reflexive, responsive.

By adding sensors, actuators and controllers to various systems, buildings are in a way becoming large scale robots. This symposium went beyond the current fascination with mechatronics and explored what change means in architecture and how it is manifested: buildings weather, programs change, envelopes adapt, interiors are reconfigured, systems replaced. It explored the kinds of changes that buildings should undergo and the scale and speed at which they occur. It examined which changes are necessary, useful, desirable, possible…

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Matthew Parker Vera Parlac

Agile Spaces

Date: 2013
Client: n/a
Principal Investigator: Vera Parlac
Collaborators: n/a
Project Budget: Withheld
Research Assistants/ Project Team: Matt Parker
Sponsors: University of Calgary Seed Grant
Publications: “Agile Spaces” published in the Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA): Adaptive Architecture, University of Waterloo, Cambridge, Ontario, 2013
Agile Spaces/ Iconic/ SKiN“, Responsive Architecture Research Team V. Parlac and B. Kolarevic, in Facing the Future, Exhibition Book, 2nd International Scientific Conference and Exhibition, Gallery of Science and Technology, Belgrade, Serbia, 2014

The backbone of this project is a kinetic material system actuated by shape memory alloy (SMA) springs. The material system is developed both as a physical and digital prototype. Its behavior is examined at a physical level and the findings are used to digitally simulate behavior of the larger system. The system utilizes a lattice structure and its structural behavior. It relies on elastic deformation of the constituent members, which allows the forces of bending to be distributed along a wider region of the surface. The system becomes kinetic when the SMA spring actuators are activated. Activation of the springs introduces tension into the lattice members that causes change in the geometry of the lattice cells. The result of this is bending of the wider region of the surface. The lattice can be actuated in the lower or upper zone. Depending on the zone of actuation the lattice deforms and moves upwards or downwards. The contraction of the SMA spring produces a tension in the middle layer of the lattice, which manifests through the deformation of the cell structure, bending an entire region of the lattice. Strategic placement of the actuators across the lattice produces accumulated bending effect and deforms the entire surface.

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Adam Onulov Richard Cotter Seed Grant Todd Freeborn Vera Parlac

SKIN: Soft Kinetic Network

Date: 2012
Client: n/a
Principal Investigator: Vera Parlac
Collaborators: n/a
Project Budget: Withheld
Research Assistants/ Project Team (Role): Richard Cotter,
Todd Freeborn, Adam Onulov
Publications:Surface Dynamics: From Dynamic Surface to Agile Spaces ” in Proceedings of the 2013 ASCAAD Conference: DIGITAL CRAFTING Virtualizing Architecture and Delivering Real Built Environment, Jeddah, March 2014
Agile Spaces/ Iconic/ SKiN“, Responsive Architecture Research Team V. Parlac and B. Kolarevic, in Facing the Future, Exhibition Book, 2nd International Scientific Conference and Exhibition, Gallery of Science and Technology, Belgrade, Serbia, 2014
Surface Change: Information, Matter and Environment ” in Proceedings of the 2013 CAADRIA International Conference of Computer-Aided Architecture Design Research in Asia: OPEN SYSTEMS, Singapore, May 15-18, 2013
Surface Change” in Proceedings of the 2012 ACSA International Conference: CHANGE, Architecture, Education, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, June 20-21, 2012

Project Description: The SKiN project consists of small-scale prototypes of an adaptive kinetic surface capable of spatial modulation and response to environmental stimuli. The Soft Kinetic Network (SKiN) surface is organized around the network (Soft Kinetic Grid) of embedded “muscle” wires that change shape under electric current. The network of wires provides for a range of motions and facilitates surface transformations through soft and muscle-like movement. The material system developed around the wire network is variable and changes its thickness, stiffness, or permeability within its continuous composite structure. The variability in the material system enables it to (a) behave differently within surface regions; (b) vary the speed and degree of movement; (c) vary surface transparency; and (d) provide other levels of performance such as capture of heat produced by the muscle wire and distribution of heat within the surface regions.