What if we could transform the object of architecture from the design of the defined to the design of the unpredictable.

The aim of the project was to try and develop a structure that could maintain the flexibility and responsiveness offered by parametric design software, even after the course of its design.  Without any tools to do so, the project had to rely on developing a custom software. Therefore, the structure as well as its functions and behaviour, were programmed in the Processing programming language. A functional kinetic mockup was also designed and programmed using Arduino micro controllers, which was triggered by the processing software, in order to produce transformations. Traditional CAD software were used only for representational reasons (physics modelling, rendering, 3d-printing) by sending data from Processing to Grasshopper and Rhino via OSC.

Out of many plausible scenarios, two main functions that were programmed and displayed live: interaction with people and adaptation to environmental conditions. The first relied on infrared space-scanning sensors (Microsoft Kinect) to animate and transform the structure according to the movements and densities of people under it in real-time, thus in a way encouraging interaction between people in public space. The second function was calculating the position of the sun for a given geolocation and time, and could transform the structure in order to generate the maximum shade at any given time.

Design & software demo

Project Book

Interactive Kinetic Structures was developed as a diploma thesis under the supervision of Prof. Dimitris Papalexopoulos and presented at the Architecture Faculty of NTU-Athens, in October 2012, graded with 10/10 from all 4 jurors.

Interactive Kinectic Structures was one of the finalists of ALGODeQ Algorithmic Design Quest International Competition.

A paper based on this project, under the title “From the Univocal to the Dissipative: Computation and performance methodology in real-time architecture” was presented at the 2013 eCAADe conference in TU Delft, and published in “eCAADe 2013: Computation and Performance – Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Education and research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe, Delft, The Netherlands, September 18-20, 2013”.

Diploma Thesis Project / NTUA 2012 / Supervisor: Prof. Dimitris Papalexopoulos