FAB Finding: Predicting the Future

2007  Oxman, N., Proceedings of the 25th eCAADe Conference. ISBN 978-0-9541183-6-5. Frankfurt am Main (Germany) 26-29 September, pp. 785-792

ABSTRACT. The distinction between material behavior (mechanics) and material response (electronics) in the framework of responsive building skins has promoted unique design protocols for integrating sensor technologies into material components. Such a distinction results in the implementation of remote sensing devices post the process of material fabrication. Sensors are commonly perceived as electronic add-on patches which initiate mechanical output with response to electrical input. This work seeks to establish a novel approach to the integration of electronics in building skins which prioritizes material selection, behavior and fabrication given a required task, over post-production sensor application. The term “FAB Finding” is proposed to describe an instrumental methodology facilitating the coupling of CNC fabrication processes with material organization and behavior. It offers a design mentality which emphasizes the nature and the effects brought about by the use of specific fabrication processes which are by definition inherent in the design product and its behavior. A light-sensing inflatable skin system is developed as a working prototype demonstrating such an approach.

Predicting the Future

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