Computational tools for designing shape- changing architectures
Smart materials or systems are characterized by having built-in sensors and actuators, adjusting their properties in response to external stimulus. The rapid development of these technologies presents an immense opportunity for designers and architects to provide innovative and creative solutions for adaptive buildings. However, there are several challenges for the incorporation of smart materials in the toolbox of architects in design practice: The lack of an overlap in knowledge between material science fields and design practices; the addition of time as a condition that renders these materials inherently dynamic; and the general disconnect between material issues in typical design settings. This paper discusses the challenges for designing shape-changing architecture and examines the way in which computational tools or digital technologies can help overcome those limitations in design practice. Finally, we discuss an approach for designing shape changing architectures with the aid of digital technologies, highlighting the different considerations that must be taken into account.