Smart Buildings Make Smooth Moves

Lakshmi Sandhana in Wired News:

1_1What if buildings could function like living systems, altering their shapes in response to changing weather conditions or the way people use them?

That’s the vision of a new breed of architects who are working on what they think is the future of architecture — “responsive structures” that observe their internal and external environment and change form to suit any situation…

At the Office for Robotic Architectural Media & The Bureau for Responsive Architecture, Tristan d’Estree Sterk is working on shape-changing “building envelopes” using “actuated tensegrity” structures — a system of rods and wires manipulated by pneumatic “muscles” that serve as the building’s skeleton, forming the framework of all its walls.

By connecting the skeleton to embedded, intelligent systems, Sterk is creating smart structures that are light, extremely robust and capable of making extensive shape changes without consuming a lot of energy.

More here.