Facade + Innovation Conference: Chicago October 11th & 12th


This conference is being held on the IIT Main Campus, Herman Hall.

Some of the symposium speakers:
Juan Betancur AS+GG
Tom Brock IIT College of Architecture
Will Laufs Laufs Engineering Design
Justin Nardone SOM Black Box Group
Edward Peck Thornton Tomasetti
Mark Sexton Krueck + Sexton

Full and half day workshops, including Revit Parametric Facade Design, taught by IIT Director of Digital Architecture + Fabrication Alphonso Peluso.


Al Bahar Towers: Adaptive Mashrabiyas

Aedas has re-imagined the Mashrabiya (traditional Islamic window treatment) as an adaptive cladding component in the Al Bahar Towers, that are now nearing completion in Abu Dhabi.  Due to the towers shape and local conditions, solar gain is a huge problem.  Aedas aims to negate this problem by strategically placing the adaptive Mashrabiyas across the facade.

The individual triangular screens appear to work like umbrellas, using a linear actuator to open and collapse them.

Original story on designboom.com

v2 Component Inventory

I wanted to give a better idea of how the v2 facade mock-up functions.  What follows is a list of components and their purposes.  The code the corresponds to each is posted under the code hosting tab.  The most recent versions of ACM and Facade Agent are 19.2.

I appologize for the lack of division between the code files.  I seem to be limited here by the wordpress template, but I will give each file a page underneath the parent files when time permits.  

Update: v2 Facade Mock-up

Although the Nano-muscles are not physically functioning, the commands are being sent in response to light and atmospheric conditions.  However, the actuator adaptations are not affecting the interior conditions in any way.  I also cleaned up the asynchronous communication between Arduino and Processing, which had not really been asynchronous at all, needing two serial ports to function.  This was buggy at best, and I finally sat down and got the code right.

The data stream can be seen on (now inactive) cosm.com, and I will keep it running until I need the Arduino/components for the next version.  This means that active development on v2 has stopped indefinitely.

Given the compact size of this prototype it makes more sense to get working on a 3rd version, rather than trying to retrofit v2 with a more suitable actuator.

v3 will be of a larger scale, contain more sophisticated adaptive mechanisms, and have more complex behaviors (including some fuzzy logic and learning algorithms).  I’ve sourced some small solenoids and stepper motors, and will be experimenting with them prior to moving ahead with v3.

Adaptive Facade Mock-up Update: Initial Deployment

Development of the v2 facade mock-up has reached I point at which it can finally be deployed!  I will be deploying it for approximately 6 hours today on the South porch here at Crown Hall to see how all of the applications and components handle extended use, and capture a working set of data to improve upcoming versions.  I’ll be shooting for a 2pm start time in order to capture data as the sun sets at 6:59pm central time.

I expect that the Nano-muscle (a.k.a. Flexinol Shape Memory Alloy Actuators) to build up a lot of heat as they work to keep the vents and fritted panes moving in the sunlight.  In the past, I’ve experienced problems with the Nano-muscles getting too hot and essentially destroying themselves.  I’ve lowered the pulse width modulation signal going to them and installed heat sinks to compensate, but they still get pretty hot.

v2 ready to be closed up

The live data feed is public.  Please feel free to take a look.

Data taken from the sensors on the Arduino Mega 2650 , then fed to cosm.com using the Processing app/Pachube library.

Processing, Arduino, and PGAdmin (showing PostgreSQL database tables with recorded information)

“Smart Paint” Conductive Material

Bare Conductive is working on a new “smart paint” that is skin safe.  This type of conductive paint material is not new, but being non-toxic is.

My understanding of the typical conductive paint’s make up is that it contains graphite to carry current through paths laid down with brush, maker,etc.  It can be used to pick up an individuals elctro-magnetic field, which can be converted to low-voltage signals and then received by a development board like Arduino.  I’ve seen this material in action at the SmartGeometry 2012 Conference Micro Synergies Cluster display, and can attest to it’s performance.

Bare Conductive claims that their Smart Paint can be used to track 3D proximity and occupancy of a space by applying it to the wall surfaces.  I imagine that it requires a panel matrix and a triangulation function to do this.  Anybody else care to weigh in on the potential programming/placement for this application?

SG2012 Micro Synergies Module uses smart paint to pick-up your electro-magnetic field. The Arduino processes the resultant signal, and sends a response to the Flexinol Shape Memory Alloy causing the “pedals” to contract.