Assignment 1: Final Project Proposal

There is great interest in understanding how building systems can promote site-specific responsiveness to dynamic conditions. The motivation behind this proposal is my desire to create spaces and systems with a capacity to meet changing individual, social, and environmental demands. With this in mind, I decided to design an interactive wall system that responds to a custom built touchscreen. In a nutshell - this type of wall system would allow the participant to literally 'paint' on the windows or openings in the facade.

Touchscreen Wall

There's a lot of different ways to think about the folding of the wall panels. My first iteration was looking at using a servo to drive two panels at a time, basically eliminating half of the number of servos needed for each panel group. However, I already think this may be a little too 'over complicated'. Not that the mechanics are difficult, there just might be a simpler solution. One thought might be to use shape memory alloy wires or even smart foils to cause the panels to fold. The video below shows the first test, but I'm going to keep developing different folding mechanisms throughout the semester.

Flattened Unit Drawing

I know that this weeks assignment was supposed to focus on modeling and rendering our design proposal, but I wanted also wanted to start testing out how hard it would be to integrate a touch screen into the design proposal. So, I bought a Nintendo DS touch screen and a breakout board and tested this proposal using the Firefly plug-in for Grasshopper. I first bought the Nintendo DS touch screen and breakout board from Sparkfun, but found that the information on the website was a little misleading and the 4 wire connection didn't fit. The touch screen connector strip is only 0.1mm thick, whereas the breakout board is looking for something 0.3mm thick - thus it kept falling out. So, after a lot of trial and error, I decided to try a different board. Luckily, I found that MicroCenter in Cambridge just started selling these parts... and this part happens to fit perfectly. So, after a quick setup I was able to use the touch screen to simulate the areas on the wall which would be triggered for folding. Currently, each square is time sensitive so that each is only active for a set time before it closes again. Again, this is just a first test and merely a proof of concept video.