Miller, Kirk William James
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The program of architecture is understood by how we anticipate architecture to function. This thesis will explore how a simple reactive architecture using light sensors, actuators, and basic programming models challenges what it means to anticipate architecture. It argues this by inverting what is perceived as background and foreground through interactions between people and their environment. Background processes are those which recede into the back of one's perception because their familiarity leads to predictable, anticipated outcomes. These are interactions which, among others, include wall functions, door use, and step heights. Conversely, processes become foreground when their expected outcomes differ from what was anticipated: a run of steps which vary in height brings to the foreground the action of negotiating those steps. They alter the way in which a typical or banal aspect of architecture functions and where anticipation of function becomes challenged. Anticipation is a deeply significant artifact of human interaction. It is present in every facet of human communication and drives many of our interactions. Within architecture, countless of these interactions are shifted to the background making us complacent and uncritical of our engagement with our environment. This thesis challenges the experience of anticipation-as-background by repositioning the banal program of a wall as something worthy of foregrounding in our experience of space. This thesis will develop a precedent research on interactive environments including Rodney Brook's Kismet project, Gordon Pask's MusiColour, and Valentino Braitenberg's vehicles. It will develop a series of interactive experiments to study how anticipation can be programmed into an environment. Further, it will develop a full-scale, prototypical sensor/actuator construction that will challenge assumptions about what can be anticipated about its responses and how it actually performs. The goal of this thesis is to produce a full-scale environment that will demonstrate how anticipation can be constructed through an architectural system.