Thermal interrelation Investigations into thermally responsive architecture
Garlow, Robert B.
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Historically, our attempts to suppress a material's reaction to external stimuli (e.g., sealing, painting, etc.) has led to a limited pallet of conventional construction materials, chosen because of their predictability. By reversing the attention placed on suppressing a material's inherent qualities, and instead focusing on a way to exploit that response, we can generate new applications for "ordinary" materials that become more aware of our presence. Rather than focusing on the material as an artifact and an end in itself, I am proposing a study of material's latent phenomena, properties and behaviors and how recognition of and attention to a material's specific response could reshape the way we think about and use it. This study investigates a materiality that is inherently smart by design resulting in a more significant effect on our relationship to architecture. Designing for a material's natural actuation is an opportunity to design an architecture that intelligently responds to environmental stimuli at a multiplicity of scales. To do this, I have chosen to investigate the lamination of different materials and their response to temperature fluctuations of the environment they occupy. This acquired body of knowledge will allow us to design with a new sensitivity in which the interaction of body, architecture and environment is redefined, altering our perceptions of a once static built environment while also altering the environment itself. This heightened understanding and application of material response can reinforce, both physically and emotionally, our engagement with and experiences of a receptive architecture.