Cognizant Architecture

Towards an Interactionist Model of Cognizant Architecture
A sentient maze built with swarm intelligence

Sobia Ilyas1, Xinyue Wang2, Wenting Li3, Zhuoqun Zhang4, Tsung-Hsien Wang5, Chengzhi Peng6
1,2,3,5,6School of Architecture 4Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering,
University of Sheffield

Cognizant Architecture is a term used to define sentient and smart structures broadly. In this paper by Sobia Ilyas, Xinyue Wang, Wenting Li, Zhuoqun Zhang, Tsung-Hsien Wang and Chengzhi Peng, an `Interactionist’ model of cognizant architecture is proposed as a method of investigating the development process by inverting the conventional concept of maze design.

The proposed `Cognizant Maze’ aims to achieve user-architecture micro-interactions through delighting the users, presenting a physical activity equally attractive to kids and adults alike, and activating mind-enticing visual effects. Like many previous innovations, nature is what inspires us in the maze-making process.

In modelling the cognizant maze, authors develop the concept and workflow of prototyping a form of swarm intelligence. Authors are particularly interested in exploring how simulated behaviours of swarm intelligence can be manifested in a maze environment for micro-interactions to take place.

Combining parametric modelling and Arduino-based physical computing, this interactive prototyping shows how the maze and its users can `think, act and play’ with each other, hence achieving an interactionist model of cognizant architecture. Authors reflect that the lessons learned from the Cognizant Maze experiment may lead to further development of cognizant architecture as a propagation of swarm intelligence through multi-layered micro-interactions.

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