For years man has been creating or attempting to create things that are better then humanly possible, and with computers this is actually possible. At this point there are few ways, if any in which humans can outdo what technology and computers can, but what happens when we realize just how dependent on technology we really are? What happens when whole buildings are uninhabitable just because there is no electricity to see with, to control the temperature with, and to breath with? It’s a scary thought realizing just how vulnerable we are in these glass mountains we control, how dependent we are.
Well Doris Kim Sung has thought about it, in fact, she has come up with a partial solution to it. She has taken a material called thermo bimetal, a material you may have played with in chemistry or potentially just for fun, and turned it into a physically breathing material that bends when introduced to heat, or in this case sunlight.
How it works is basically just that it is two different metals laminated together (usually steel and copper) and when they are heated one reacts more quickly and bends in one direction, then when they cool down they go back to their original position.
The best part about using this material within building facades is that it reacts automatically with the sun or with heat to open and close, creating shade where and when it is needed without the use of electricity or power of any kind.
Thermo bimetal was originally thought of as a material that could be used to automatically create shade where it is needed but that is not the only way it could be used. It can be used as a ventilation system as well, by creating a system that when hot air rises up the metal above it opens to release it. Another way that Kim Sung talks about in her TED video is that in high-rise buildings it could be used for ventilation from the outside where it covers up holes in the wall when cold and allows air to enter when it is warm.
TED talk Doris Kim Sung
SU Studio Architecture, Pavilion.