Research area
Behaving Architectures
Research Project
Mette Ramsgard Thomsen, Simon Løvind, Danmarks Design Skole

A research collaboration between CITA and Simon Løvind, The Danish Design School.

Could a material gain behaviour? Could the wall sway or the floor bow as we venture to move across it? Could wallpaper flicker and tablecloths creep? How could our environment be imagined as a realm of self-organising inhabitants acting and reacting to shifts in their external and internal contexts?

Vivisection is an experiment in spatial formation within architecture and design based on the idea of a robotic membrane. Vivisection is the making of a live section, a sensing skin that acts and reacts on its inhabitation. As a spatial experiment it is the thinking of how a techtonic surface can embed a capacity for sensing and actuation. The fabric, a weave of silk and steel, is conductive thereby allowing us to pass electronic signals through it. By using antenna based sensor chips the fabric itself becomes a sensor, which feels the presence of its audience. The sensors inform a network of distributed micro-computers, that in turn control the fans, inflating and deflating internal bladders in the structure.

Vivisection explores the textile as a computational matrix. Collapsing the idea of the controlled and the controlling, Vivisection investigates the making of an intelligent surface creating a playful environment for interaction while probing at how a material itself could gain behaviour.

Vivisection was exhibited at Charlottenborgs Efterårsudstilling, Oct 06 and at the Robotic Membranes exhibition at Grand Parade Gallery, University of Brighton, Jan 07. Vivisection is published in Kybernetes special issue on cybernetics and design.


Ramsgard Thomsen, M.
"Imagining a robotic membrane: architectures of physical computing"
In "Scroop, Synthesis, Vol 18", Cambridge Architecture Journal, 2006

Ramsgard Thomsen, M.
"Building liveness, imagining architecture as a robotic membrane"
In Workshop Proceedings of UbiComp Conference, Insbruck Marts 2007

Ramsgard Thomsen, M.
"Robotic Membranes, Exploring a Textile Architecture of Behaviour"
In "Proto Architecture: Analogue and Digital Hybrids" ed Sheil, B. , AD (Architectural Design), Published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd, July 2008

Ramsgard Thomsen, M.
"Tekstil som metafor og materiale for en ny arkitektur"
Arkitekten, January 2007

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