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Infundibuliforms: Kinetic Tensile Surface Environments
The INFUNDIBULIFORMS project explores kinetic actuated environments: spaces which can be rapidly reconfigured in real-time, to suit changing programmatic and performative demands, integrated with interactive capacities. The work advances research in cable-based robots for architectural applications, research in computational design environments for kinetic architectures, and research in the production of extruded elastomeric tensile meshes. These research streams are combined to produce a controllable, dynamically reconfigurable spatial enclosure. The project has produced a distributed motion control system that can be utilized to support continuing experimentation with actuation through a range of material and spatial configurations. A physics engine-based design environment has been developed to enable designers to translate kinetic surfaces into working prototypes through an open-source graphical programming interface, coupled with an industry- standard software motion controller. A parallel stream of material research has advanced the development of a robotic extrusion printer for thermoplastic elastomers, and the development of “flat to form” geometries that allow two-dimensionally printed mesh-lattices to be tensioned into funicular forms. The project is a collaboration between RVTR (www.rvtr.com) and Matter Design (http://www.matterdesignstudio.com), and was funded through the University of Michigan Research Through Making program as well as the U-M Office of Research. Read more
European research project Eurotape has created 1,968 feet of superconductive tape that could vastly improve the potency of wind turbines. Read more
IBM Watson and design studio SOFTlab join forces for an installation at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Read more