Smart structures
August 31st, 2006

In a WIRED NEWS report titled Smart Buildings Make Smooth Moves, we learn that future-looking architects are hoping to design buildings that emulate living systems by adapting to what is going on. The ideas go like this:

What if buildings could function like living systems, altering their shapes in response to changing weather conditions or the way people use them?

That’s the vision of a new breed of architects who are working on what they think is the future of architecture — “responsive structures” that observe their internal and external environment and change form to suit any situation.

A building that mimics a living system would be able to sense and respond appropriately to exterior conditions like varying winds, temperature swings or changing sunlight. Inside, the building might change to accommodate crowd flow or better circulate warm air.

“If we could develop shelter … that truly responds to the environment like a natural organism, that would be the most successful form of adaptive construction,” says John Folan, an architect and assistant professor at the University of Arizona. “This is the wave of the future.”

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