Oculus - Winter 2015 - (Page 28)

feature How Big Data is Reshaping Architecture W ©August hen French director Jacques Tati imagined the future of Modernist architecture for his 1958 film Mon Oncle, the house he designed and built for the set came embedded with technologies that seemed to bring the house itself to life. Lights flashed when a steak was ready to be flipped. Buzzers would sound for any number of reasons. And an automatic garage door - then, a novelty - would knowingly welcome the family's car as it moved up the driveway. Though the villa was meant to be open and flexible - tout communique! as Madame Arpel would repeatedly say - it ended up determining much of the family's behavior, forcing them to respond to the house's prompts. This sense of entrapment takes a literal turn when the husband and wife get trapped in the garage by that automatic door meant to make modern life more convenient. Nearly 60 years later, what was once a cinematic parody has become something of a reality. Technologies embedded in architecture - often silently, invisibly, and immersively - have begun to reshape some of the fundaments of architecture. 28 Oculus Winter 2015 The "Internet of Things" is well-suited to be the app for architecture B Y J o h n g en d A LL By the very fact that it is made with things - walls, doors, windows, stairs, corridors, etc. - architecture has always conditioned human behavior in such a way that the world becomes understandable through a building itself. To turn the key on an apartment door, or to fire up the heater of a weekend house, or to open a window when it gets warm, or to close it when it gets loud outside, is to respond to the environment in a directly haptic way, mediated through architectural elements. Increasingly, though, architecture is being made not only with things, but also with products known as the "Internet of Things" - those physical objects linked to a network and able to transmit data. Look mom, no hands Take the August Smart Lock, for example. Designed by Fuseproject CEO Yves Béhar, the device stands to do away with the metal keys that tumble around in pockets and bags, and so often get misplaced. Though there is a tangible object - a discreet aluminum cylinder that works with standard deadbolts - the project transforms the physical experience of handling keys and opening doors into a digital process invisibly carried out through networks. Using a phone-based app, users can control access to locked spaces, whether it's a matter of opening the door for a house cleaner or dog walker, or letting out-of-town guests come and go as they please. Most transformatively, because the system is linked with a phone's network, including its place-based data, doors can be made to automatically unlock when an authorized user approaches. The lock is just the beginning. Fuseproject designed August to work with HomeKit, Apple's family of "smart" home products. With these, elements of domestic architecture become controlled by preprogrammed settings and external data sets. Individual preferences like wake-up times can induce changes in lighting levels, HVAC settings, and appliances, closely orchestrated throughout a 24hour cycle. Even variables not directly controlled by a user - a change of weather, for example - can prompt windows to close and external shades to retract based on those external stimuli. Technologies embedded in architecture - often silently, invisibly, and immersively - have begun to reshape some of the fundaments of architecture. (left) The August Smart Lock, designed by Yves Béhar of Fuseproject, uses a phonebased app to control access to locked spaces. Reinventing Architecture: Design in a Digital World

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Winter 2015

First Words Letter from Two Presidents
Letter from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: Practical Attitudes
ICE in the River: Cornell Tech’s Center of Connectivity
Restoring – At Least Virtually – One of England’s Greatest Lost Buildings
At the Corner of Past and Present
The Design-Fabrication Dynamic
How Big Data is Reshaping Architecture
Architecture at the Digital Edge
3D for the Defense
Thinking Beyond the Flat Page
In Print
51-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Winter 2015