DSC00400 copy.jpg

Dance With Wind


The direct response of architectural forms to energy is their dynamic response to natural elements including wind, light and heat. The increasing focus on buildings’ environmental performance calls for a change in architectural design paradigm, which creates comfortable dwelling environment on the pragmatic level, generates new form on the aesthetic level and regards architecture as an open system like metabolism that generate dynamic feedback to the ambient on a philosophic level. This epistemological change expedites environmental performance driven design, which doesn’t satisfy the standards and requirements of the performance through post design supplement but completes the generation of form through correlating environmental parameters with morphological parameter in the early design stage.

Wind tunnel and CFD software has been used to make design optimization in the engineering field for a long time, but the workflow cannot be directly applied to design stage due to the heavy consumption of time and money for calculations. Although there are several architect-oriented connecting software in use, the fast real time correlation of form changing and CFD simulation is never fluently realized, which bring us to physical wind tunnel again but combined with mechanical systems controlled by Arduino.

In this workshop, we focus on one form manipulation--rotated geometries, trying to find most optimized twisting shape regarding wind environment, in both single building scale and building cluster scale. The form changing is controlled by Arduino system, though not as freely as in digital environment, it dramatically reduces the time needed for setting up grids and calculation in CFD software, the result of which is sufficiently informative for architects to make decisions in the early design stage.

Geometric Parameter: Rotation angles of floor plates


Mechanical design to control the rotation of building models


Assembly of the apparatus

Testing Device: Physical Wind Tunnel


Video Demo