CLAD people

Hank Haeusler, professor, UNSW

What happens if a space becomes a robot?


Read on turning pages | Download PDF | sign up to CLAD

Could the future of architecture lie in spaces that adapt to the behaviour of the people who use them?

A research project by computational design students at the University of New South Wales in collaboration with Arup set out to answer that question.

The group have revealed the ‘Centaur Pod’, an interactive meeting room which – when completed – will have the protean ability to learn from and adapt to external stimuli.

Arup, which has been in talks with UNSW researchers since 2017, took on the project to simultaneously explore three interrelated domains: machine learning artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and digital fabrication.

According to UNSW Professor Hank Haeusler, the Centaur Pod – named after the mythological hybrid – will imitate robotic artificial intelligence (AI) by using a kind of memory process to analyse body movements. The sensory information acquired from these observations will stimulate the Pod to rearrange its structure.

Hausler told CLAD: “We’re interested in the ideas: How will technology change the way cities and buildings will be designed, operated, and constructed? What happens if a space becomes a robot?”

The professor suggested that his colleagues’ findings could have wider applications, telling us: “The research we’re doing with Arup could probably lead into commercial or residential applications quite easily.”

Initial responsive buildings would “alter space depending on need,” continued Haeusler. In doing so, they would also optimise energy output.

“If you have a building that understands your behaviour and is therefore responsive, it can adapt to your day-to-day performance towards energy conservation,” he said. “It can also help create activity-based work environments, such as desks that would arrange themselves into groups based on the work habits of employees.”

The UNSW team is currently working on the specifications of the Pod, which could be built as a six to nine-metre pavilion.

The pod’s first iteration is due to be completed in April or May 2019. The structure will then be presented at Arup’s offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Gallery
Click on an image to open the image gallery
company profile
Company profile: DJW
DJW offer a way to interpret your story through the use of technology. We can provide Audio Visual consultancy to assist in the planning stage, follow up with AV system design, supply and installation, and provide a bespoke control system to suit your operational needs.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
A giant bear watches over Aarhus’s harbour. The playground is part of Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s Dokk1 library project
Ole Barslund Nielsen founded Monstrum in 2003 with Christian Jensen. The two met when working in theatre scenography
"Failing and falling can be a good thing"

How his background in theatre set design inspired Ole Barslund Nielsen to create playgrounds with a difference

The design of the Wellness Center was inspired by a local brick factory
"Our palette was pared down to basics"

The Vietnamese village being created using historic methods

Deep Ocean Technology’s Water Discus underwater hotel
"The Norwegian coast inhabits such beauty"

The world’s most ambitious underwater buildings

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
UNStudio’s Green Spine comprises two towers with twisting geometric facades
"I like art that is against the mainstream, slightly off, with a twist"

UNStudio’s co-founder on the unexpected challenges of designing Australia’s tallest skyscraper

The project will comprise a series of viewing spaces linked by tunnels
West announced the donation to the Roden Crater after a recent visit
"We will all live in Turrell spaces one day"

Musician Kanye West to help fund the still unfinished Roden Crater, designed by American artist James Turrell

Profile: Peter Cook: Peter Cook
Peter Cook
"Somehow we’d caught the imagination of people"

As a book about radical architecture collective Archigram is released, we speak to one of the founders about the need for fun

features
Van Valkenburgh studied landscape architecture and fine arts at Cornell University and the University of Illinois
"Building a park is the ultimate act of democracy"

The US landscape architect on why the Obamas are his kind of clients

The running track at the Bill R Foster Recreation Center
David Polzin is executive director of design at CannonDesign. He studied at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture
"We were able to create an ‘acoustic shadow’ cutting decibel levels nearly in half"

How to design the perfect community leisure centre 100 13th century pilgrimage The Vietnamese village being created using historic methods

The restaurant features custom-designed furniture
Daniela Colli
"The alternation of light and shadow is essential to give dynamism to a space"

Italian architect Daniela Colli tells us how she looked to classical art for inspiration on how to deal with light and shadow in her latest project

cladkit product news
Volvo partners with Reef Lab Designs to encourage ocean biodiversity
The tiles are made from marine-grade concrete and recycled plastic fibres
Lauren Heath-Jones
Car manufacturer Volvo has partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab to create an environmentally-friendly ...
David Rockwell partners with Jim Thompson for dream-inspired fabric collection
Rockwell has designed 12 multi-use fabrics inspired by dreams with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson
Lauren Heath-Jones
Renowned architect David Rockwell has created a collection of fabrics with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson. Called Dreams, the collection was ...
Water inspires Zaha Hadid Design x Rosenthal collaboration
The collection consists of three smaller collections: Weave, Strip and Lapp. Weave was inspired by 'the fluid lines of Zaha Hadid's sketching hand'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal to create a new collection of vases. Called the Lapp collection, ...
cladkit product news
Tom Dixon Studio to relaunch iconic Pylon chair
Pylon was first designed more than 20 years ago
Lauren Heath-Jones
Originally conceived in his metal workshop in the early 90's, the Pylon chair was Dixon's attempt to create the world's ...
BD Barcelona Design reveals Cristallo by the late Alessandro Mendini
Cristallo was the last design from acclaimed designer and architect Alessandro Mendini
Lauren Heath-Jones
Design Studio BD Barcelona Design has released Cristallo, a limited-edition cabinet designed by the late architect and designer Alessandro Mendini, ...
Alusid's Sequel collection combines craftsmanship and sustainability says founder
The Sequel collection is billed as the 'most waste-efficient and sustainable' on the market
Lauren Heath-Jones
Alusid, a creator of eco-friendly surfaces, has partnered with Parkside to launch the Sequel range, the brand's first collection of ...
cladkit product news
Baux creates plant-based acoustic panels
Baux has worked with scientists from the Royal Institute of Technology to create Baux Acoustic Pulp, a plant-derived acoustic solution
Lauren Heath-Jones
Baux, an acoustic products brand based in Sweden, has developed a line of biodegradable acoustic panels, using a plant-based material ...
Mater partners with Ditzel family to create eco-friendly furniture using reclaimed plastic
The furniture uses plastic from recycled fishing nets
Lauren Heath-Jones
Mater, an ethical design brand based in Denmark, has launched a furniture collection made from plastic reclaimed from the ocean. ...
Paul Kelley pushes 'technical boundaries' with modular furniture cube system
The system is designed to enable users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, where they are in complete control of the design and function of their furniture
Lauren Heath-Jones
British designer Paul Kelley has created a modular magnetic cube furniture system that enables users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, ...