Philip Beesley creates ‘living’ sculptures that breath and undulate in response to the environment. Neri Oxman’s Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab creates structural domes built by silkworms. Fujiko Nakaya’s Fog x Flo installation in Boston’s historic Emerald Necklace creates ephemeral shape-shifting fog sculptures that seem to shift in response to the environment, allowing users to experience the system of parks and pathways anew while being immersed in art that is in constant conversation with nature. This studio will explore what it means for a structure to be alive, to have sensory inputs and actuated outputs.
Designers, artists, engineers, scientists and technologists around the world are looking at the frontier of ecology and how it can expand our pursuits for living harmoniously with nature. The ecological repercussions of human activities have moved from the realm of post-apocalyptic science fiction to stories on our daily news feed. The need to design objects and spaces living symbiotically with the ecological world around us has never been greater.
Looking to the wonder and magic of the work of these innovators, you’ll be designing transformable spaces, structures and sculptures that respond to changing environment, for instance, structures that inflate and deflate in response to the azimuth and altitude of the sun, a motorized wall that adjusts to a growing plant, or an ant hill installed in a wall that grows with time. We’ll explore notions of dwelling, hermitage, and ecology in order to design and build full-scale site-specific transformable installations. Through this process, you’ll learn fundamental architectural design skills including drawing, physical modeling, and representation to dream up our transformable structure, as well as fabrication skills including 3D modeling, laser cutting, 3D printing, generative design, wood working, construction, and assembly. We’ll also use computational methods and material methodology to construct our structure. Get ready to imagine a new kind of living architecture that shifts, morphs and changes with time!
Architecture + Urban Design
Physics (Electricity, Magnetism)
Digital + Analog Fabrication (Laser-cutting, 3D Printing, Woodworking, Construction)
- Enrolling students must be between the ages of 14 to 18 (or grades 9-12)