Alive by material: A study of dielectric polymer as a material with intrinsic kinetic properties for architectural application
Shimul, Shakil A.
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Architecture is often described as the ‘Frozen Music’. With the advancement of machines and robotics this idea is continually changing. From 1970 onwards, many architects, engineers, and futurists have suggested that, to meet this demand of society, there must be a new kind of architecture that is not static and can adapt the changes through kinetics. Kinetics is directly associated with motion, and motion provides dynamism for adaptability. In currently available forms of kinetic architecture, motion comes from external systems and most of the time is generated by motors, pistons or actuators. For better efficiency, flexibility, and micro level programmability, motion should be produced from the intrinsic properties of the material. This research aims to explore and investigate materials with such properties for architectural application. In this study, dielectric elastomer has been examined to understand its properties and behaviors, focusing on possible architectural uses. In the final phase, some prototype models are developed for projected architectural application based on the results of the experiments.