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Transformable Design Methods


In the world of environmental controls and designing for lighting and sun shading, most solutions - designed off the shelf - are applications, or independent systems of what they are controlling or shading. A highly custom building facade, whose static elements rest on a structural system contrasts with a more modest approach of blinds, louver systems, or other simple operable units applied to a window system. Our approach is to mediate between the customized and static, and between applied systems and those that are fully integrated into their support systems. Our project started with a three-fold concept: 1. have a structurally integrated system - or in this case, have the system integrated within the structure, 2. design a system that is dynamic and customized in its approach to shading and lighting while being aggregational, and 3. have a project that’s design is inherently visually appealing and compelling. The structural element we chose to incorporate is a truss, a common wide spanning element typically used in a repeated system, to accommodate the potential of lighting and shading. A highly custom system is typically static in its final product, and an off the shelf system is typically based upon manufacturing standards and is essentially operable systems of rectangular elements either rotating (louvers) or rolling (blinds). In the case of a triangulated truss the approach was a mechanical louver system that could open, close, and operate within a triangular space. While the visual solution creates a fanning effect, the actual motion is linear, requiring a mechanical solution that travels in the same manner. The solution we arrived at uses a motor, threaded rod, and a custom arm that moves along the threaded rod, when in motion, to open and close the sun shades that are integrated into the structural trusses.



Team: Tatjana Crossley, Jen Krava, Matthew Montry

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