Skin Deep: Breathing Life into the Layer between Man and Nature

Dec 01, 2008

Challenging the traditional presumption that building skins should be static and inanimate, this investigation examines the replacement of this convention with responsive skins that are treated as if they were extensions of human and the environment. With newer technologies and increased affordability, the wall separating the interior and exterior of architecture can respond to the slightest changes in temperature, light, movement or other stimuli. One smart material with tremendous potential is thermobimetals. This report distinguishes two parts of the investigation. The first presents fourteen studies on the broad and more comprehensive notion of responsive systems, conceptually, programmatically and technologically. The second part focuses on the tectonics of thermobimetals as part of an operable, responsive skin.

Doris Kim Sung (University of Southern California)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects

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