Sentient Concrete – DaraghByrne.me

Daragh Byrne Associate Teaching Professor
School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University. Courtesy appointment in the School of Design.

Sentient Concrete

Early prototypes and material tests
Evaluating the thermal performance of initial prototypes

Dates 2017 - 2019

Collaborators Dana Cupkova, Dan Cascaval, Josh Kim, Ammani Nair

In collaboration with Dana Cupkova, this project explores interactions between material form (concrete) and embedded electromechanical controls. The result is concrete panels embedded with heating elements, that allow their surfaces to change temperature and color. This lets us create precise microclimates on the surface of the panels that respond to a range of human interactions.

We are developing new forms of embedded material reactivity and biometric responsiveness of architectural surfaces that effect relationships between individual thermal comfort and energy usage. The ambition of this research project is to create new forms of communication between the human perception and the built environment. This project combines passive and active systems with focus on relationships between temperature, emotiveness and human health. We prototyped a reactive thermochromicly treated concrete panel that is thermally actuated by embedded electromechanical systems and can dynamically produce localized thermally reactive responses.

Awards

  • Towards Sentient Matter: Architecture as a Mood Ring, Dana Cupkova and Daragh Byrne, Fund for Research and Creativity, College of Fine Arts, CMU, 2018 Award: $4,000
  • Towards Sentient Matter: Architecture as a Mood Ring, Daragh Byrne and Dana Cupkova, Isabel Sophia Liceaga Discretionary Fund (School of Architecture CMU), 2018 Award: $2,000
  • Mind controlling Sentience: Non-deformable responsiveness to human physiology, Dana Cupkova and Daragh Byrne, Fund for Research and Creativity, College of Fine Arts, CMU, 2017 Award: $5,000
  • Mind controlling Sentience: Non-deformable responsiveness to human physiology, Dana Cupkova and Daragh Byrne, Margaret B. Gruger (A’41) Faculty Fund (School of Architecture CMU), 2017 Award: $5,000

Exhibitions

  • 003.03_SENTIENT OBJECT (Authors: Dana Cupkova + Daragh Byrne; Design and Installation. Production: Dan Cascaval Josh Gy Kim, Ammani Nair). Exhibited as objects 1 of 3 of Dana Cupkova’s Indeterminate Set from Designing the Computational Image, Imagining Computational Design (curated by Daniel Cardoso Llach), Miller Gallery Pittsburgh, PA, Fall 2017


Related Publications



Cupkova, D. and Byrne, D., Cascaval, D. 2018. SENTIENT CONCRETE: Developing Embedded Thermal and Thermochromic Interactions for Architecture and Built Environment. In Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA) 2018, Hong Kong.