George Marcou Lecture

If you weren’t able to attend last night, listen now.

 Adèle Naudé Santos 

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New links and readings

New Readings

Nick Puckette’s Alt N at University of Kentucky.

ShapeShift CAAD ETH Zurich

ONE_SHOT.MGX by Patrick Jouin

Microbial Home by Philips

Thirty Six by Nils Voelker

Ball State University’s I.M.A.D.E


RAD at University of Toronto

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Assignment 2 update

A new deliverable, [e] Detail, has been added to the assignment 2 page.

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Contamination [3hr]

3 hour charrette followed by 5 minute feedback.

Teams will be randomly assigned their colleague’s project.  The goal is to contaminate, pollinate,  provide a new perspective and identify the ‘blindspot.’

Minimum deliverables:

  • Diagram or parti model of contaminant

There are no specific areas to identify. Therefore any issue maybe approached. The diagram below is provided to assist topic discussions:

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Alberto Gaitan











Alberto’s site

Remembrancer video

Short lecture

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Nitinol, Flexinol, Muscle Wire, Shape Memory Alloy

“Flexinol® is a trade name for shape memory alloy actuator wires. Made of nickel-titanium these small diameter wires contract (typically 2% to 5% of their length) like muscles when electrically driven or heated. This ability to flex or shorten is a characteristic of certain alloys, which dynamically change their internal structure at certain temperatures.”

Getting started and sizing a resistor for muscle wire

  1. Follow circuit diagram below. To ‘drive’ the wire we will use a tip120 transistor and SEPARATE POWER SOURCE.  This means we can either say ‘ON’ or ‘HIGH’ or use PWM to contract the wire.
  2. Determine the diameter of the wire (150) and length (2”)
  3. Click here to find the Resistance (Ohms/Inch) and current (mA) required at room temperature to contract the wire.
  4. We now know the Voltage (9 volts), Current (610mA) and resistance per inch (.8 Ohms*2 = 1.6 Ohms)
  5. Using Ohms law (V=RA) we know that V/R = A and therefore 9 volts divided by 1.6 Ohms equals 5.625 (9V/1.6Ohms = 5.625Amps). This is too much current and will require a resistor.
  6. If we only need 610mA or .61Amps then we can do simple math to find our resistor. Add an “R” factor to the equation >>> .61Amps = 9Volts/(R+1.6) OR  R(ohms) = (9Volts/.61Amps) – 1.6 Ohms >>> R = 13.15 Ohms

Therefore when sizing resistors for Muscle Wire we use this equation

RESISTOR [ohms] = (VOLTAGE [power supply] / AMPS  [wire spec.]) – Total Resistance of the wire  based on length [ohms] 

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All, here are the teams. In general a focus on interactivity will provide a richer understanding of the system. By understanding how the system interacts with its human counterparts, the environment, and its own parts the parameters of the physical object will come to the surface.

Document your work, after Friday’s exhibit you can start to pull out the sensors, motors, and arduinos and repurpose them to your current investigation ( keep the physical construct intact). These systems take time to  develop, as a team the sooner you can focus on the ways and means of interaction better off you will be.

Jamie + Christian

  • Both approaches address the formal and potentially spatial qualities of responsive environments.  At this point a ‘form’ is not defined, but think about how an immersive environment and its interactivity redefine and challenge form.

Jeremy + Bobby

  • Think about scale, materiality and why.  Both approaches are similar and require a good deal of material research in order to express and architecture that escapes the elasticity of the virtual and provides phenomenological and uncanny tectonics. The ‘why’ is important and you should be able to produce a robust embedded logic.

Alex  + Abbie + Amanda

  • Object vs. field, bottom up vs. top down, surface vs. node….  Essentially, Abbie has been looking at a ‘surface’ that is affected by localized instances; however, this relationship could also be understood as localized instances producing an emergent patterning on a surface.  Alex and Amanda are looking at the physical quality of a localized object and questioning the tectonic relations of these parts to produce a larger part to whole relationship. The question is the balance of these systems. Why and how they produce space and volume, not just surface.

Michelle + Charlotte

  • The pixel is important in both of your previous works. Current investigations still hint at this question. Programming a function, such as thermal mass / barrier, will allow for a richer understanding of the relationship of the pixel to an architectural whole. These ‘furry’ systems carry a great capacity for an expression of otherness (anthropomorphism). Therefore, the narrative of the systems interaction will give birth to the physical.

May + Charlie

  • Both approaches are interested in  passive / active. The living wall is a powerful and interesting idea. The potential of  wind as a passive and active driver is equally evocative. Do these two over lap or is there potential in the physical over lap of fabrication (think about plastic bag conversation).



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