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”

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…

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.