PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS: Kathy Velikov, Geoffrey Thün
LOCATION: Ann Arbor, MI
PneuSystems extends the question of air as matter that is actively mediated, controlled, contained, manipulated, and registered by other materials, forms, and technologies. In this body of work we explore the possibility of the pneu – the inflatable soft form – as the formational basis for architectural skins that breathe, that are pliant to their environment, and that might look strangely recognizable. Our research explored biological principles such as fat cells and plant motion that were abstracted to inform our constructions. The work developed a lexicon of discretized pneumatic figures that can be interwoven into array assemblies that behave like textiles. Through extensive material experimentation and feedback between physical prototyping and computational modeling, we developed a series of installed prototype skins. Further exploration in pneumatic control systems, sensing, and environmental data feeds enabled these skins to react and interact with both humans and the environment.