Entropy and surfaceness
Author(s)Casper, James Kyle
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The layer of the Earth's atmosphere which contains clouds and weather systems is a thin thermoregulatory surface. It maintains an exact energy budget between the Earth and the Sun. Recent work in theoretical physics is aimed at these types of dynamic systems. Key to a system such as the atmosphere is the constant yet fluctuating input of energy which forces the system into a state distant from its thermodynamic equilibrium. Certain physical systems, when past this point begin to organize themselves into dynamic structures which work to dissipate the incoming flux. As a result, they are decreasing system entropy, a characteristic previously only assigned to life or living matter. The line between living and inert systems has expanded to a field wide enough to work within. Concurrently, developments in the engineering of so-called intelligent materials seek to invest material or inert matter with characteristics or behaviors of life. Scientists intend the materials to sense, process and respond to environmental forces in a dynamic bio-mimetic manner through engineering at the molecular scale. This paper will examine these two fields, beginning a discourse and correlation between them, in the context of a built application. Specifically, Nitinol, a shape memory alloy, will be considered as 'dissipative media' in a dynamic building system. The proposed built system will then become a metallic alloy atmosphere on the thin surface boundary of a structure. Working also to dissipate an influx of solar energy, the building's surface will develop 'weather systems', dynamic and cyclonic, moving across and around the metallic skin. Perturbations from the imprints of the clouds and shadows will seed the system throwing it into flux as it seeks to feather out the disturbance s and settle back into pulsing rhythms and patterns. Space, scale, and time and orientation will b e re-introduced.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1997.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 103-113).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology