Passive design in architecture is something that gets often overlooked in design today. A recent New York Times article titled “How Air-Conditioning Conquered America (Even the Pacific Northwest)” cited trends in new home designs towards air conditioning across the country. With most of our building simulation focused on efficiency of systems and BTUs, the thermal delight in passive performance gets overlooked.
This session will describe the field of building kinetics. Kinetics is an approach to architecture that celebrates the act of transformation, opening up, or shutting down. In doing so, it also gives building users a new framework for operating their building passively – one that puts them in the driver’s seat of the process. We find that when building occupants are placed in active control of their surroundings in a way that’s easily interpreted, they are more likely to want to run their building’s passively than with automated controls that take them out of the equation. In this digital age, as automation disconnects us from a sensual perception of space, the use of motion and palpable relationships with architecture and materiality can help to ground us back in our bodies and into our physical surroundings.