AA Greece VS 2014 prototype-Aethyr
AA Greece Visiting School 2014 (22 September – 01 October 2014)
AA Greece Visiting School is a mobile programme travelling, reaching cities outside the country’s capital. It functions as a ‘satellite’ of education that disseminates the Architectural Association’s exclusive, intensive form of teaching and learning around the country. In 2014, AA Greece VS began its design explorations in the city of Patras, in collaboration with the Architecture Department of Patras University.
AETHYR is the result of digital simulations coupled with physical programming and fabrication techniques. Reaching its goal to design and fabricate an interactive/kinetic architectural prototype in 1-to-1 scale, AA Greece 2014 prototype is influenced by and informative of the urban characteristics of Patras: daily weather data, and the local features of human presence, calculated through density and distance values. The prototype is comprised of rigid and soft parts acting as a transformable installation, suspended in space at the University of Patras. Fabricated with kite fabric and steel-plate pieces, the prototype is positioned 3.5 meters high in space, allowing people to walk, work and talk underneath it. Animated with Arduino electronics, it reacts to external stimuli created by the human presence, as well as live stream of urban data for the local weather. Thus, the interaction becomes two-fold and allows for an additional level of interplay. The form of the prototype emerges from a set of design explorations which are focused on natural movements. Such formations include attractive forces, repulsive forces and spiral forces. The fabrication was completed with the use of digital machines, consequent of a series of digital simulations. It occupies an area of 7 meters long by 4 meters wide. The movement affects the shape of the model in its’ vertical direction enabling to grow in thickness from 0.5 to 1 meter. As part of the user experience and interaction, a series of flickering LED lights are installed in order to alter the perception of the piece itself as well as the area it inhabits.