I was lucky enough to be chosen to be a Red Shirt for the Micro-Synergetics cluster of Smart Geometry 2012. Now I understand a lot of those terms might be gibberish to many people but every year there is a conference called Smart Geometry held in a different international city. The goal of this conference is to bring together architects, engineers, scientists, designers, innovators, etc. to the year of 2012 was headed around the topic of Material Intensities: the ability to truly harness a material’s full potential and reinterpret what defines something as a ‘material’.
The conference’s week long Workshop was made up of ten different ‘clusters’ that each presented their own point of view or expertise on the area of ‘material’ they were exploring. The cluster I was a part of was the Micro-synergetics cluster which was meant to explore the symbiotic relationship that could be achieved by material performance and social space. Our goal during the workshop was to develop a modular, interactive surface that would display each participants’ innovation of material in a manner to interact with those using the surface.
Here is a video of what my cluster did during the workshop.
This experience exposed me to a variety of materials which are thermally responsive and are being developed to tune objects to human contact/proximity. These materials included thermochromic paint which would change coloration based on its exposure to heat. Different paints had different resistances and would transition at different rates or to different temperatures, ranging from human contact to a heat gun. We also used flexinol, wire which returns to its original shape when heated.
The goal of this Smart Geometry conference was to explore the possibility of emerging materials and technologies to tune buildings to the users immediate needs. This new bio-responsive method of thinking of materials in buildings offers the opportunity to truly create heating/cooling systems that adjust directly to the immediate needs of a space rather than running on programs which do not respond to the dynamics of a space.
Although the applications for many of the materials and technologies developed during this conference were still small scale they have the possibility to be incorporated into renengineered building systems to truly tune these functions to a dynamic environment. For more information on other clusters search around this website: http://smartgeometry.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=143&Itemid=149