ELEMENTAL INTERACTIVITY III - ON THE MODIFICATIONS OF CLOUDS
Design Project in Construction Material Technology - B Arch, WS 2012/13
By the 1750s almost everything in the visible world had been named, described and classified. It was the clouds, those wholly visible, ever present, bodies that were proving nigh on impossible to categorise. The difficulty lay in the way scientists looked, they sought to classify the clouds as they would a botanic species - with defined immutable states and characteristics. The breakthrough was made in 1802 when Luke Howard, a young amateur meteorologist, defined them according to their transitions.
The continual transition in elements which nonetheless seem to maintain their essential characteristics was the starting point for this semester project. Though seemingly unfathomable, erratic and chaotic at first, on closer inspection clouds reveal themselves to be ordered and predictable albeit on an extremely complex level. How can something change and adapt constantly while seeming to maintain the same elemental structure? How could such a level of finely tuned interactivity manifest itself in architecture?
Research: In the first weeks of the semester we looked scientifically at the main cloud modification types, how they are formed and the forces which induce them to transform.
Observe: In the following weeks we looked very closely at and recorded the actions of clouds in experiments or observations and reflected on the methods we used.
Make: We then constructed elements whose nature was determined by the planned interactivity and materiality. The interactivity assumed many configurations, whole volumes may move, remain within the thickness of the outer shell or it may transfer to the interior volume. The interactivity determined may not include movement at all and is sometimes purely sensitive to light, temperature or acoustics.