Air Forms: Kites as Adaptive Surfaces
1901 S. 9th Street
Girls Gymnasium Exhibit Gallery
This exhibit presents ongoing student projects from the IDEA (Interdisciplinary Design and Experimental Architecture) Studio of Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University). Founded with the support of a 2015 NCARB Award, IDEA Studio is an innovative interdisciplinary research and curricular initiative comprising the fields of architecture, textile design, and engineering. This year we focus on design explorations of ‘kites’, investigating the concepts of adaptive surfaces which propose an architecture that shifts from rigid to soft and dynamic structures and mechanisms. Wind is considered as a primary material in this research which will be harvested, manipulated, and controlled through the parameters of geometry, textiles, computational techniques, and fabrication, and tested through prototyping. The exhibit highlights student design research and mock-up models highlighting the potential of interdisciplinary approaches that merge hand- and digital-craft (simulations, physical computing, fabrication) and new materials and structures (atmospheric layers) into high-performance surfaces and envelopes. Building on key concepts of the existing body of knowledge and the state-of-the-art, IDEA Studio aims to envision the future of architecture with novel materials strategies including textiles, fibers, and composites. Considering environmental concerns of energy efficiency, scarcity of natural resources, greenhouse gas, and recyclability of building systems, and human comfort and wellbeing, this research illustrates novel approaches to wind energy and material use. The discoveries and knowledge are aiming to advance design approaches in the disciplines of architecture, textile and engineering.