Designing for uncertainty : novel shapes and behaviors using scissor-pair transformable structures
Author(s)Rosenberg, Daniel, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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Much current research in design and computation, within an architectural framework, aims to reduce uncertainty as much as possible. The general belief is that, during the conceptual design process, the certainty about the outcome to be brought into being is achieved by analyzing clients' stated needs, construction and structural requirements and environmental performance. Likewise, this approach is based on descriptions and assumptions about the life of the building, which consider future situations as certain, invariable and in a particular moment in time. However, is it possible to analyze the requirements and the performance of something we have not imagined yet? And, moreover, even if it was possible, are we able to know the future needs, requirements and performance of that something during its life? Even though the analytical approach has been a great contribution to architectural practice and education, uncertainty has not been reduced and remains an unacknowledged factor, that contrary to common belief is actually one of the most important and unavoidable factors which foster innovative and creative design. The vision here is that an alternative approach is needed: a method that acknowledges and uses uncertainty, instead of trying to reduce it. The hypothesis is that both uncertainties, the discovery of the unknown during design conception and the unexpected change during the life of a building, can be merged in a novel method that fosters Designing for Uncertainty in architectural design and practice.(cont.) This research presents a novel method to Design for Uncertainty, along with an empirical experiment that explores the generation of uncertain shapes and behaviors using Scissor -pair Transformable Structures. While, the method proposes general directions to be applied across a range of different types of design projects, the experiment shows a specific application involving the conceptual design and physical implementation of Scissor-pair Transformable Structures. The method leverages uncertainty in a synergetic and continuous process from design conception to the life of the building, which is then materialized through transformable structures able to re-define themselves through time.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2009.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Pages 98-99 blank.Includes bibliographical references (p. 94-97).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology