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Bartlett Design Technology Prize Exhibition

10:00 01 November - 18:00 16 November 2012

Location: Lobby Gallery, Wates House, UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, 22 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0QB

Tom Svilans – Design Technology Prize Exhibit


Tom Svilans – Creaky Bones
The project is derived from a speculative investigation into the nature of contemporary DIY, open-source and anti-establishment methods of making. Rooted in notions of autonomy, self-expression and a technocratic sensibility, the narrative proposes a haven for makers, tinkerers and freedom-of-information activists, harvesting resources from the mountains of London's e-waste and fabricating an opulent home for their craft.

The prototype demonstrates an integrated process that spans the virtual / real divide – between virtual modeling, numerical analysis and physical making. The idea of digital craftsmanship – a way of moving fluidly between virtual 3d 'sketching', highly precise CAD and CAE tools and, ultimately, methods of digital production – seeks to define a new role for the architect: as a master of the evolving object, defined not only as a physical artefact but also as the clouds of digital data, processes, collateral objects and, perhaps, myths that surround it.

Project tutors: Bob Sheil, Kate Davies, Emmanuel Vercruysse, Peter Vaughan, James O'Leary, Dirk Krolikowski with generous help from Ed Moseley from AKT, Felix Weber and Damian Eley from Arup.

Viktor Westerdahl – Temple to Wind and Flowers
This prototype is an attempt to prove the real potentials of a seemingly impossible architectural proposition. From a narrative starting point, this architectural proposition developed for an array of vertical garden towers in the City of London, which are able to generate electric power through wind induced movement.  At the heart of the system is a different perception of structural stability. Rather than attempting to resist deformation the primary structure incorporates elastic motion, like a tree bending in the wind. This approach could potentially lessen requirements for structural strength, especially in high-rise construction, as forces such as wind loads and earth movements can be transferred to the motion of the structure itself.

The transfer of kinetic energy has further benefits as it can be transformed into electricity. The load bearing structure incorporates an emerging technological application for energy harvesting known as the piezoelectric effect. It generates electricity from deformation in engineered ceramic discs. Applications for the technology exist at a smaller scale, but this architectural proposition envisages a kinetic high-rise structure functioning as an urban power station.  To enable seasonal inhabitation of the kinetic structure, there is a locking mechanism of folding panels. In its elastic state, these panels are vertical and act as wind catching surfaces and a facade of gardens. When the panels are folded horizontally the structure is locked in a stable state and the panels form inhabitable rooms and public gardens.

Project tutors: CJ Lim, Bernd Felsinger, James O'Leary and Dirk Krolikowski with technical assistance provided by Damian Eley from Arup.