Architect Wants to Create Buildings That Have Minds of Their Own
Would you live in a building that could think for itself? Architect Doris Sung believes that the future of architecture is designing building energy-efficient facades that imitate biological "skin" and are able to respond autonomously to changes in weather conditions.
"When I imagine the city of the future, I think they will look more like new lifeforms," Sung told BBC. "The facades should be dynamic and responsive."
She takes her inspiration from the skin of humans and animals, which responds to changes in external temperatures before "deciding" whether it needs to get other systems, such as the heart and the lungs, involved. In this extended metaphor, the heart and lungs are electrical systems of climate control. She asserts that ideally, the building's "skin" wouldn't need a human controller to modulate its reactions: "I think the building's skin should have a mind of their own."
She's already tested a "thermobimetal," which consisted of 14,000 dynamic, moving panels, on a twenty-foot structure called Bloom. In the below video, the structure visibly reacts to changes in temperature, with the material heating different parts of the surface and reacting to the sun "like a sundial." Implementing this idea of an external "skin" for buildings may have significant implications in both architecture and the environmental movement, as it could mean a drastic reduction in the usage of electric heating and air conditioning systems.