Kinetic Architectural Skins:
Data driven design for intelligent dynamic facades.
A sustained level of design and research between architects and computational designers is important to achieve innovation and efficiency. Communicating to a designer the importance of integrating performance-based approaches in the early design stage and their impact on the design may shift the logic and conceptual stages of an architectural project. The integration of environmental factors such as solar exposure into the design phase, through design tools and computational analysis, results in improved performance of sunlight harvesting and therefore serves to promote human comfort and energy efficiency.
When tasked to design this project, it beneficial to to propose and undertake an agile approach to conceptualise a design scope and outcome. This project will initially aim to facilitate a facade that would be driven by a notion appeasing to ‘design performance’, thus formulating the idea of giving a building a superficial skin that could be environmentally responsive and potentially employ both active and passive design elements. The facade could allow for a controlled level of daylight exposure for certain spaces within a site, and would optimise results in an adaptive way in response to varying environmental conditions.
The first phase of my agile design approach would be to document a given building or space as the overall form of a proposed facade would be dependent on the existing location and size of the site. Documentation is key in one's ability to further a conceptual design idea, realising the purpose of certain spaces and what existing levels of natural illumination are present. On the contrary, a system can also be designed in a neutral respect, where the form and system could adapt to whichever context it is in. A proposed kinetic system responsive to environmental factors could ideally adapt to direct sunlight, therefore illumination quickly becomes the primary parameter to determine how much light a certain space needs for optimal and efficient workflow in regards to the purpose of those spaces . In turn we’re able to define an algorithmic grasshopper script that operates based on this theoretical design approach, as dictated by the aforementioned data and requirements done through thermal and lighting analysis. This process of testing allows for the basis of an iterative design process where one is able to evolve and adjust a scheme up until a satisfactory form is achieved that still maintains the initial goal of achieving an optimal outcome for the buildings occupants. The use of an algorithmic problem-solver such as Galapogos can also help to determine the structural form of a facade by programming it to optimise viewing angles or solar illumination within desired spaces. In addition to its overall form, Galapagos’ evolutionary loop is able populate solutions in order to find the best possible tilt angles and configuration of louvres for...