Eric Höweler, assistant professor of architecture and organizer of the conference Adaptive Architectures and Smart Materials, will give a brief overview of the event, held earlier this month in Chicago. This was the first iteration of the Merck Harvard GSD conference series, which brings together academics, historians, industry leaders, and building scientists to explore the potentials and opportunities for architecture and industry.
The integration of new communication, interactivity and display technologies in architecture fundamentally transforms spaces and places into networked, responsive and communicative environments. Within this context, architecture has become “smart” through the introduction of technologies at the scale of devices and equipment. A building envelope is currently the site of intense architectural speculation, with the introduction of CNC fabrication techniques that allow for increased formal complexity, as well as new material properties in glass, polymers and fabrics that create building envelopes with new spatial, visual and thermal properties. These new materials, which have the capacity to transform architecture, its ability to regulate its appearance, its optical properties, its configuration, and its thermal qualities, demand a radical rethinking of interiority, exteriority, privacy, publicness, exposure, and visibility within architecture.
Technologies of Design
This series of lectures, conversations, and events offers occasions to discuss material, structural, and building technologies and their connection, consequence, and impacts on design.