Having had a look at 2000-2015 sci-fi glimpses into the future, climate change remained a constant, unchanged factor of influence. This study investigates the basics of desertification, how dunes are formed and how they are shaped and moved by external forces.
A couple of experiments investigate the wind effects on sand formation and also an interesting method of solidifying the resulted dune with adhesive and heat.
“The Windshape pavilion by nARCHITECTS stretched across the limestone walls of Lacoste, France like a luminous billowing spider’s web. The temporary pavilion was commissioned by theSavannah College of Art and Design for their Provence Campus. The net-like structures were used by students and townspeople alike as a cultural center and meeting space.
Perched at the top of Lacoste on the castle of the Marquis de Sade, the Windshape pavilion was composed of thread-like walls made from a simple assortment of materials – including white plastic pipes, aluminum braces, and threaded string. Woven from gauzy nets, the pavilion was designed to move and morph in the local wind, creating a spectacular art installation for the locals to enjoy. The surfaces of the pavilion would ripple, move, and even make noise, depending on the speed of the winds that blew through it.
Over the course of five weeks, SCAD students worked closely with nARCHITECTS to install Windshape. The netted arcs took shape through bending and tension, and they were held in place by steel structural collars that ensured the structure’s sturdiness. The strings were woven to provide enclosed spaces as well as more open areas to vary the usage of the different parts of the temporary pavilion.
The resulting pavilion was a translucent web embellishing the Medieval architecture of the historic town. Taking advantage of these new meeting points, the town used the space was used to host concerts, exhibitions and ceremonies. At night, Windshape was illuminated and visible to neighboring towns miles away.”
Vibrations are the very basis of life. Wherever we look in Nature we see self organising and self regulating systems that are in a state of constant vibration, oscillation, undulation and pulsation. Inspiration and expiration of the lungs, systole and diastole of the heart are only two basic examples.
The concept of Aetherius is to translate vibrations into a self organised and self regulated structure. Aetherius makes the participants experience an ephemeral ultra-light architecture in constant movement.
The artwork moves to the rhythm of the wind and becomes a living structure.
It is a visual experience as well as being an interactive experience. As the artwork moves, the participants react to its unpredictable behaviour. Not only Aetheius moves with the windy climatic conditions, but it can also be animated by the particpants.
In summary it is a delicate ephemeral structure that reflects the subtle nature of a vibrating system.
This solidified sand structure is created by pouring a mixture of sand and saturated sodium salt solution over the crest of the dune. As the liquid builds along the crest it creates new channels which pour towards the base of the dune. Once the poured mixture has solidified through the crystallisation of the salt the bulk of the dune can be blown away, simulating the migration of dunes in deserts. This reveals an interior volume within the sand structure.
Theo Jansen’s animated works are a fusion of art and engineering. He has been creating wind-walking examples of artificial life since 1990. His . The basic design of the so called Strandbeest uses multiple pairs of legs set on a central crankshaft, which produces a galloping-herd effect.
Jansen cares about the environment and produces his living structures with recycled items. The ‘stomach’ of the sculpture is made with retired plastic bottles that capture the air pumped by the wind. To harness the wind, Jansen employs bicycle pumps, plastic tubing and rubber rings. Large flapping wings gather the most wind, allowing for its storage.
One of the most impressive features of the kinetic artwork is the locomotion. The strandbeest walk with legs rather than roll on wheels, as would be expected of an inanimate object, in order to more effectively cross large areas of sand. The ‘hips’ of the strandbeest remain level, while the legs kick forth, without lurching forward.
Project Vasari supports performance-based design via integrated energy modeling and analysis features. Project Vasari can be used in conjunction with Ecotect Wind Rose analysis to dynamically simulate the impact of wind speed and direction on a projects. This prototype plug-in provides a simplified “virtual wind tunnel” that allows designers and engineers to run computational fluid dynamic early in the design process.
For more information on this software on http://labs.autodesk.com/utilities/vasari/
Below is a tutorial by Mario Vergara on how to install and use Winair (this link also contains a tutorial). WinAir is a plugin to perform CFD analysis (wind flow) on a mesh using Ecotect. The video tutorial is in Spanish but very easy to follow even without sound. There are couple questions already online on the Autodesk forum about Win Air. and some work on the GH forum related to it.