Responsive Surface Structure II

The second research phase of the Responsive Surface Structure project focused on the development of a more integral system that constitutes both the reactive skin and the load bearing structure within one material system. Through variations in local thickness and fibre direction it is possible to construct the system from wood laminates only. The ordering system of the four to seven sided polygonal elements is algorithmically derived. The computationally evolved surface structure allows for articulating globally doubly curved surfaces with varying densityof elements in response to different structural requirements.

A functional, full scale prototype was constructed and tested. Once exposed to changes in relative humidity the opening and closure of each local component results in different degrees of porosity over time and across the surface, which is both structure and responsive skin. This high level of integration of form, structure and material performance enables a direct response to environmental influences with no need for additional electronic or mechanical control.

Department of Form Generation and Materialisation (Prof. Achim Menges)
Steffen Reichert, HFG Offenbach University of Art and Design, Germany, 2008