THESIS RESEARCH

THERMAL INTERRELATION: Investigations into Bi-material Lamination

[ How can a better understanding of a materials reaction to thermal energy allow us to design an architecture that participates and mediates amidst the presence of bodies and/or environmental stimuli? ]

Historically, our attempts to suppress a materials reaction to external stimuli (e.g., sealing, painting, etc.) has led to a limited pallet of conventional construction materials, chosen because of their predictability. Rather than focusing on the material as an artifact and an end in itself, I am proposing a study of materials latent phenomena, properties and behaviors and how recognition of and attention to a materials specific response could reshape the way we think about and use it.

By reversing the attention placed on suppressing a materials inherent qualities, and instead focusing on a way to exploit that response, we can generate new applications for ordinary materials and design with a new sensitivity in which the interaction of body, architecture and environment is redefined, altering our perceptions of a once static built environment while also altering the environment itself. This heightened understanding and application of material response can reinforce, both physically and emotionally, our engagement with and experiences of a receptive architecture.

I was Inspired by the bi-metallic thermometers ability to turn thermal energy change into mechanical displacement as well as the physicist’s interpretation of a boundary as an automated and dynamic convective layer that is triggered by energy differences and is only in place until an equilibrium is reached. I have begun to research material responses to thermal energy, with intentions of applying this knowledge at the scale of the human body both thermally and physically, perhaps to mediate rather than separate and divide.

This research aims to utilize natural material deformation for spatial production, transformation and participation at a multiplicity of scales.

Thesis Committee:
Nick Bruscia
Matt Hume
Jean Lamarche

More information and Photo/Video documentation, visit my website: RBGarlowdesign.com­

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