Active Wax System
Exploring design possibilities of the environment-responsive system was one of the key aspects of the project. Athens, having a hot climate and scorching heat, allowed for temperature variation to be the activator for the system. The system is based on the principle of expansion and contraction of mineral wax with the variation in heat. This principle has been used in auto-vents which are installed in greenhouses to automatically control the airflow based on temperature change. The opener has a metal cylinder containing a mineral wax which expands with heat pushing a piston that opens the vent. As the temperature cools, the wax shrinks and closes the vent. The project incorporates this basic mechanism in developing a component that is responsive to temperature variation. The component closes when the temperature is high and opens up when the temperature decreases. The design parameter of the component is the pivot distance. At the same temperature, but with different pivot distances, variation in the amount of opening and closing can be achieved. The active parameter of the system is the movement of the piston, dependent on temperature variation. Components with the same pivot distance would show a difference in the opening pattern depending on their local temperature variation bringing about a dynamic spatial quality. The radiation pattern determined the placement of functions on the site. These functions act as attractor points for generating global form.
Chuan Chen, Kangjian Guo, Manuel Berg, Riddhi Oswal