Thorite assists with pneumatically actuated responsive architectureDubliner Kenneth Murphy is currently working on a one year Masters degree in Architecture and Digital Media at the University of Westminster. He has been developing an emergent-style architectural structure that focuses on bio-aesthetics for ornamentation, which responds to react with people walking past, thanks to help from Thorite.
The responsive components comprise acrylic frames and tubes connected to pneumatic actuators which inflate rubber silicone structures in response to nearby movement. The components have wireless radio transceiver modules connecting PIR sensors to Arduino, sending signals to solenoids in the pneumatic system which stop and start the compressed air flow as a passer-by walks within range.
Thorite, the UK's biggest independent distributor of pneumatic products and process systems were introduced to Kenneth by a friend and have worked closely with the 35 year old architect throughout the development process, supplying pneumatic components manufactured by Norgren and providing valuable pneumatics knowledge.
Kenneth presented his project to a leading architecural association on July 21st and will it will be exhibited at the Marylebone Campus in the University of Westminster from September 6th. Speaking about his unique approach to responsive architecture Kenneth said:
"The idea of structures that move in harmony with external stimuli really appeals to me. The presentation produced some great feed-back which can be incorporated into the design and has already started me thinking of additional features. I'd like to sincerely thank Thorite and especially my contact there, James Paskell, who has been of huge assistance in helping turn my concepts in practical working structures. Who knows, maybe the idea of totally static architecture may one day be a thing of the past, with buildings actively welcoming and reacting with their visitors."
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