Playing the fieldBuildings 12 June 2009 | 10.00am
The May/June edition of Architectural Design presents an unusual take on generative architecture based on field theory. Sean Lally offers a new way of thinking about the design of environments. Instead of conceptualising indoor environments as a space defined by its surrounding surfaces (e.g. a curtain wall glass facade), Lally conceives of a space as the boundary (isovalue) of a spatial field at a specified value.
For example, we might use particular arrangement of hot and cold panels to generate a radiant field, and if we could visualise the isosurface of a particular temperature then we’d be generating a form within which the environment was controlled without the use of boundary surfaces.
Various articles in this edition of AD explore a fluid dynamics solution as part of the generative process.
It’s an idea that we’ve been playing around with for a while too and this seemed like a nice opportunity to see what could be created. I’ve used a computational fluid dynamics package (ANSYS-CFX) to set up convection currents within a box shaped volume and visualised the isosurface of a constant temperature. This has then been exported, translated and rendered using the Radiance visualisation package to produce the image above, with a rather unlikely sky. It’s an interesting problem to contemplate how the people within the space would modify this environmental boundary, i.e. there is an interdependency at work here …