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
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.

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
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…

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
Branko Kolarevic Jason Johnson Joshua Taron Vera Parlac

Integration Through Computation, 2011 ACADIA Proceedings

Date: 2011
Client: n/a
Principal Investigators: Joshua Taron, Vera Parlac, Branko Kolarevic, Jason S. Johnson
Project Budget: Withheld
Collaborators: n/a
Research Assistants/ Project Team: n/a
Sponsors: Autodesk, Flatcut, Bentley, ACE-BIM, Ice Edge Business Solutions, Altar, Autodessys, Robert McNeel & Associates, John Wiley & Sons, Routlandge, Faculty of Environmental Design University of Calgary, LID Laboratory for Integrative Design
Publications: Integration Through Computation Proceedings

The ACADIA 2011 Annual Conference proceedings explores integrative trajectories and areas of overlap that have emerged through computation between design, its allied disciplines of engineering and construction, and other fields, such as computer science, material science, mathematics and biology. The presented research work projects integrative design as an emerging trajectory for architecture as it enters a post-digital phase and as it embraces ideas, concepts, processes, techniques, and technologies from elsewhere (just like before only more so).

Categories
Alison MacLachlan Branko Kolarevic Jason Johnson Jordan Allen Joshua Taron Michael McGie Vera Parlac

Integration Through Computation, 2011 ACADIA Project Catalog

Date: 2011
Client: n/a
Principal Investigators: Jason S. Johnson, Joshua M. Taron,
Vera Parlac, Branko Kolarevic.
Research Assistants/ Project Team: Michael McGie, Jordan Allen,
Alison MacLachlan
Sponsors: Flatcut, Bentley, ACE-BIM, Ice Edge Business Solutions, Altar, Autodessys, Robert McNeel & Associates, John Wiley & Sons, Routladge, Faculty of Environmental Design University of Calgary, LID Laboratory for Integrative Design
Publications: Integration Through Computation, Project Catalog

Project Description: The ACADIA 2011 Annual Conference project catalog presents experimental projects that explore integrative trajectories and areas of overlap that have emerged through computation between design, its allied disciplines of engineering and construction, and other fields, such as computer science, material science, mathematics and biology. It highlights experimental projects in which methods, processes, and techniques are discovered, appropriated, adapted, and altered from elsewhere, and digitally pursued.

Categories
Adam Onulov Richard Cotter Todd Freeborn Vera Parlac

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.

Categories
Brett Osness Mike Kryski Vera Parlac

Shifting Terrain: Interactive Surface

Date: 2010
Client: OPEN SPACES: Window to a View, City of Calgary Public Art Program
Principal Investigators: Vera Parlac
Collaborators: n/a
Project Budget: Withheld
Research Assistants/ Project Team: Brett Osness, Mike Kryski
Sponsors: LID Laboratory for Integrative Design Publications: “The Shifting Terrain: Interactive Surface” in Project Catalog of the 31st Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), University of Calgary, Calgary, 2011

Interface is defined as a common boundary, boundary between things, boundary across which data passes, a point of interaction, linking software, or linking device. Interface could be a place, situation, or a way across which things or people act together and affect each other.

The “Shifting Terrain” project explores a notion of an urban interface, through a responsive surface activated by an inquisitive observer/passerby. The undulating surface is made of strips of veneer that form a regularly patterned field. When stimulated by sensory input, the field shifts animating the surface. Sensors attached to the window glass entice the viewer to touch them, registering the change in light intensity and triggering the movement of the surface. This installation links art, design, technology and public realm. Its goal is to engage the public by providing an alternative, interactive interface between the street and the interior of the building. The broader goal of the project is to explore the role of the responsive surfaces in architecture.