Material Geometry

Material Active Geometry
Constituting Programmable Materials for Responsive Building Skins

Alireza Borhani1, Negar Kalantar2
1,2Department of Architecture, Texas A&M University

This paper by Alireza Borhani and Negar Kalantar is part of a body of research developing an exploratory dialogue between the built form and the environment, via experimentation with performative geometry and material. Here, geometry is considered a design material with the specific capacity to contribute to the performative aspects and kinetic capabilities of building skins.

This work opens with a review of emerging opportunities for architects to design materials. It then discusses the concept of Material Active Geometry (MAG) as a means of designing new properties for existing materials. This is followed by a discussion of MAG principles that inform the concepts of flexibility and rigidity in a 3D-printed textile called Flexible Textile Structure (FTS).

This research characterizes two FTS types and discusses their potential to be employed in building skins; it also considers combinatory approaches to computational models and physical prototyping. The work concludes with a discussion of the advantages of using FTS, and provides a trajectory for future research in the field of responsive materials and systems.

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