Towards a Soft Architecture: Approachable Kit-of-Parts for Soft Interactive Architecture


This thesis looks at an approachable kit-of-parts that allows for the rapid prototyping and creation of a new interactive architectural tectonic that is decentralized and compliant by using distributed microcontrollers and actuators. How can an extendable open kit-of-parts allow for easy access in designing soft interactive architecture? Previous work has been proprietary, expert facing and had a high barrier of entry; this work explores how DIY, open source and digital fabrication methods allow for rapid prototyping and the exploration of interactive architecture to be more accessible. By using compliant patterns and digital fabrication, an aspect of this new tectonic would be the emergence of a distributed ‘soft architecture.’ This thesis seeks to examine the current exclusionary barriers surrounding interactive architecture and to disseminate a design framework that enables an increase of accessibility on who can participate in the design of responsive environments. By looking at DIY creation methods, open source and the use of compliant materials, this thesis explores an interactive soft architecture through the prototyping and creation of architectural fixtures that employ an approachable kit-of-parts framework which would be disseminated in a manual that documents its creation and methods.

The examining committee is as follows:
Supervisor: Philip Beesley
Committee member: Val Rynnimeri
Internal-external reader: Rob Gorbet
External: Manuel Kretzer

The defence examination will take place:
Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 10:00 a.m.
In person, in the Founder's Lounge.
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.