An analytical study of the design potentials in kinetic architecture
This dissertation is concerned with the potentials of kinetic structures in architecture; what they are, what they can do for us, and how we can go about designing them. Ultimately, it aims at proving the applicability of kinematic methods in the design process of the adaptable space organizations by carrying out a personal design process of a novel kinetic structure. The course of this dissertation explores the ways in which kinematic synthesis methods contribute to the design processes of kinetic structures and adaptable spaces, which we call kinetic architecture.The idea of motion is not new. However, the concept of motion and its practical reflection appear more in end-products because of the dynamic, flexible, and constantly changing activities and developments in building technology. As a result of the rapid change in activities of modern society and developments in building technology, a need of the adaptable space emerged which was the necessary precondition for the rise of the concept of motion in architecture. This conceptual transformation may be dated to the end of the twentieth century. What marks the approach to the design of this new, late twentieth-century conception of space is 'motion', which will now play an increasingly important role both conceptually and in applications of design. Our capability of utilizing kinetics in architecture today can be extended far beyond what has previously been possible. The present dissertation describes kinematic analysis and synthesis methods used so far in mechanical engineering and explores its direct or in-direct applications into the architectural field.Arguing that the potential of kinetics in architecture remains far from fulfilled, it offers concrete direction and method for innovation. Focusing on responsive spatial adaptability and kinetic structures, it develops a foundation for the application of kinetic structures as a means of enhancing the performance of space. The motivation lies in creating adaptable spaces. There is a need for adaptable spaces and a design method for achieving this by building kinetic structures that can physically convert themselves through kinetics to adapt to the ever-changing requirements and conditions. This thesis proposes the use of kinematic methods in the design process of kinetic structures to create adaptable space organizations. In order to show the applicability of kinematic methods in the design process of the adaptable space organizations, a new type of an architectural umbrella covered by flexible material is developed for covering open-air spaces. Graphical synthesis method is used in the design process and the performance of the architectural umbrella is analyzed with Visual Nastran 4D. This is a CAD program capable of kinematic analysis.