Intelligent kinetic architectural envelope development

In the project, three interns will work intensively with Philip Beesley Architect Inc. on designing and implementing kinetic architectural envelopes. The envelopes will be presented as sculptural installations and as a dynamic shading system for the Canadian North House entry to the 2009 Solar Decathlon. Parametric modeling of components will be used to explore the conceptual possibilities for the project and establish design alternatives. Solar power and wireless communication technologies will be developed, building on the open source Arduino platform. Physical component implementation will employ inhouse laser cutting and CNC routing, expanded by new thermoforming equipment supporting lightweight sheet-formed elements. Full scale prototypes of key assemblies will be mocked up and tested to ensure they withstand outdoor environmental conditions. The contribution to the work of PBAI will take the form of direct work on two of the company's projects, the sculpture and the dynamic shading system, and of hardware that can be deployed in future projects in the Reflexive Membranes Series.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Geoffrey Thun


Eric Bury, Hayley Issacs and Manuel Kretzer


Philip Beesley Architect Inc.




Construction and infrastructure


University of Waterloo



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