Sentient Thermochromics

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Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture
Project Type: Design Research
Year: Spring 2018

Historically, architectural design focused on adaptation of built environment to serve human needs. Recently embedded computation and digital fabrication have advanced means to actuate physical infrastructure in real-time. These ‘reactive spaces’ have typically explored movement and media as a means to achieve reactivity and physical deformation. Sentient Concrete is a research project that finds new mechanisms for permanent and non-deformable everyday materials and environments using thermal, tactile and thermochromic responses actuated biometrically and controlled by embedded networked system. The intention is to create individualized pathways to thermally actuate building surfaces and enable individualized thermal comfort while exploring expressive methods to respond to interactions between the environment and human occupants. Moving away from engineering paradigm of averaged thermal comfort, this project illustrates new interactive scenarios and new forms of reactivity within the built environment.

| PI: Dana Cupkova | co-PI: Daragh Byrne | Contributor: Dan Cascaval | COLLABORATORS: Max Vanatta, Someera Razak, David Bosworth & BuildLab LLC | Project Supported by: Carnegie Mellon University College of Fine Arts Research and Creativity Grant 2017, 2018 | Margaret Gruger Faculty Fund 2017, 2018 |


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