[DMIC] Workshop // DYNAMICS IN EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS // in collaboration with ETH CAAD and Chalmers

Digital Matter | Intelligent Construction // Workshop


ETH CAAD and Chalmers Faculty: Manuel Kretzer, Stig Anton Nielsen

IAAC Faculty: Areti Markopoulou

IAAC Assistants: Alexandre Dubor, Carlos Bausa

External Guest: Raul Nieves, Prototipolab

In collaboration with: MaterFad

In traditional architecture, a change in a material’s property, such as its volume or elasticity, was generally seen as a potential problem affecting the performance of built structures. Static planar surfaces related with stability or even durability have long dominated the architectural vision. When, as a consequence to the introduction of domotics, design disciplines started to explore kinetic and dynamic performances to increase efficiency, this was done following mere rules of mechanical actuators and heavy motor or servo-based systems plugged-in in whichever material surface.

Today, progress in novel and advanced materials coming from disciplines such as medicine or aerospace engineering raise the challenge of adaptation following smart, active or reactive materials that are able to alter their properties reacting to external stimuli. Changes in state, colour, and volume take place with no need of any computing device or mechanical actuator; rather the material itself has all these functions programmed into its persistence on a molecular scale.

In parallel, the 21st century challenges related with global warming, i.e. global temperatures that rise and cause climate change and global urbanization, raise new questions regarding our way of building and inhabiting. Architecture, will have to respond to extreme weather conditions, especially the rise of temperature in densely urbanized areas and smart materials will play a critical role in the architectural process of dealing with the current challenges of the global context.

Which architectural systems can be dynamic and react to environmental conditions such as temperature shifts?

Can buildings and cities perform as environmentally integrated living organisms?

How can architecture remember and learn from previous experiences, therefore evolving with embedded intelligence?

The workshop introduced students to a series of “smart materials” such as polymorph plastics, shape memory polymers, bioplastics, thermochromic pigments, temperature-sensitive and electroconductive materials for 3d printing.

The project proposals explored active materials and developed dynamic architectural proposals for extreme environmental conditions where temperatures in urbanized areas surpass 70 or 80 degrees Celsius. Such extreme temperatures are able to activate a series of smart materials that can change state when heated in high temperatures.

Project 1

Project Name: Thermoteam

Students: Alina Kvirkveliya, Ji Won Jun, Josep Alcover, Jose Algeciras, Matteo Silverio, Yoko Gotoh


Project 2



Project 3

Project Name: Thermoluminescence

Students: Nina Jotanoivc, Panagiota Sarantinoudi, Farah Alayeli, Apostolos Apostolinas, Lubna Alayeli, Ceren Temel


Project 4



Project 5




In collaboration with: materfad lgo

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