A prominent theme in architectural design these days seems to be buildings that respond and react to their surroundings. With structures that ebb and flow with different weather conditions, a bridge underpass that lights up when it detects noise, and windows that dilate to cool rooms, structures today are changing themselves to help improve our living experiences.
Researchers at the the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed glass windows that are embedded with a microfluidic circulatory system. Cool water is pumped through the system and helps control heat transfer to keep indoor temperature at a comfortable level.
Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture graduate Alice Labourel‘s The Hidden Orchestra is a building that moves and comes to life depending on the movement of the people inside it. The building has a physical structure resembling bones and other natural internal building blocks. The building also responds to external stimuli.
The Artist Build Collaborative in Brooklyn created a project called Silent Lights, six colored gates made of steel and aluminum. The installation has LED lights that pulsate in waves at night and transform traffic noise into bursts of color.
The HygroSkin-Meteorosensitive Pavilion by architects Achim Menges, Oliver David Krieg and Steffen Reichert is designed to react to humidity. The structure does not use any mechanical or electrical rotors, but instead takes advantage of the ability for responsiveness of the material, which is wood.
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