TAILORED TO TIME

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M.Sc. Thesis Project 2019

ITECH MSc. Program 

Author: M. Wyller

Advisers: Maria Yablonina & Martin Alvarez

Professors: Achim Menges & Jan Knippers

Tailored to time explores how textiles can be formed into adaptive, kinematic spaces able to respond to its environment and users utilizing distributed, mobile robotic connectors. 

A common incentive for designing adaptive architecture is to save resources. However, many systems fall in the paradox of using a lot of it - both through production and maintenance. The project aimed to develop an adaptive system that consumes little energy while making use of textiles advantageous qualities - their lightweight, deployability, and flexibility. 

The primary method of the project is to reconfigure aggregations of suspended textile sheets by connecting them with a mobile robotic connector. The connectors locomote based on sensor input to achieve specific environmental target values set by the inhabitant of the space. 

The author explored the architectural impact of moving and spatially reconfiguring textiles in a series of experiments at model and architectural scales. The autonomous movement of textiles was achieved through the development of a robot connector able to walk vertically on suspended sheets of fabrics and

shape them as they move. For control, a framework for autonomous control of multiple, collaborating robots was developed. The outcome of the thesis was a full-scale demonstrator made to manifest the architectural potential of the proposed system. 

In Tailored to time, the material and the robots compose a lightweight, energy-efficient adaptive system capable of producing a significant architectural effect with minimal mechanical actuation.