Monday, August 31, 2015

Forecast 1: The Transformer House


Years ago there was an interpretation I made from a graduate program I came across while procrastinating and surfing the world wide web. I believe it was called "Architectural Robotics" - with out fully reading the program description - and with my idea of robotics [which can be summed up by the two images below... ]

I was beyond amazed that there was a program out there where people were learning how to design robot houses and buildings. Since a couple years have gone by and I have yet to come across the robot house I had envisioned these graduate students designing and building, I reevaluated what that program really meant by 'Architectural Robotics'. 


However, the idea of a building, being able to transform itself in accordance to the inhabitants physical needs/limitations/etc. and desired aesthetic is something that has stuck with me and after reading this article, on building materials of the future, followed up with this article, which expands the list of building materials of the future - the idea of this 'robot home' has been revived in a pleasantly and unexpected way - to something beyond mechanical and my stereotype of 'robotics' - to something more organic.   

The bit from the first article shared, Construction: Three Cutting-Edge Building Materials of the Future, that really added definition to this future forecast was this one line: "...materials that are programmed to later transform their shape in response to movement or environmental factors, such as the presence of water, air and temperature changes..." Combined with the other materials discussed... 

*growing bricks from bacteria (similar to car Abbi shared in our first class)
*Graphene - 200 times stronger than steel but almost weightless
*self-cleaning materials
*self-healing concrete
*new materials that could give structures the capability to strand strong during catastrophic natural disasters
*technology [way above my level of understanding] that gives materials the ability to ‘possess previously unheard of characteristics…’ 

... completely transforms the way I see these materials from something static and inorganic to something animated and alive.


1. Global/National/Local/Personal Impact
The global/national/local/personal impact will depend on affordability of such structures, at first very limited access - eventually will be world wide - similar to most new technology introduced into society.
2. Range of impact
Short term: an increase in innovation and inspiration sparked by these new advances, and the first stage, smaller in scale products produces.
Long term: large scale constructions that have the ability to change form, self-healing, grow with and to the needs of the inhabitant.
3. Positive impact
Resources saved [decreasing the amount of damage done to the environment] from the ability to heal itself, and with that money saved. Huge amounts of people injured and killed from natural disasters could be a horror story from the past. Ability to further promote human well-being.
4. Negative impact
The beauty that comes with aging materials or aging in general, proof of time passed. Unknown long term impact of new technology - industrial revolution was most likely seen as only a positive at its birth, only in recent years are we understanding the level of harm done. Defects in material could lead to dangerous environments, specifically self-destruction capabilities of materials. The buildings advance human intelligence, robot vs. humans world war scenario.
5. Region of future
{see number 1 & 2 above}
6. Trends/Tech Solutions
A STEEPA trend (mixture of everything)
Level of negative vs. positive potential for this forecast fluctuates between all lenses.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't see any posed questions so I will comment on how cool of idea this is. I think a house that could adapt and mold to what you need it for would be fantastic. I like the ability of heal itself and being a home owner there are always projects that involve fixing wear and tear that I would love to not have to worry about anymore!


Just keeping things on the up and up since this is for my students to communicate first.