Symbiotic Envelope, 2013

Collarborated with Krysten Burton, Fuk Man Fei Nui, Peter Nguyen

I joined the project ‘Symbiotic Envelope’ in 2013, a collaboration work with students in the Architecture dept. at UCLA.

The goal of the project was to make a place that had new materials as a surface of space.
A computer program automatically generated the design of the model.
By controlling the parameters of size and degree, the program generated a random space that had organic form.
Since the concept of the project was an organic animated space, we incorporated an interactivity and sensibility into the space by allowing air systems to control the volume of space. Thus, the user could change the whole form of the space interactively.

"We live in a world that revolves around technology, where our interactions with ordinary objects are becoming ever more personalized and specific. In the pattern of this trend, this project explores the possibility of architecture that is responsive to its occupant in order to create a customized experience.
Inspired by a rich history of inflatable architecture we designed a responsive children's play structure regulated by auditory inputs. Custom designed balloons define cavities that are surrounded by a symbiotic envelope. The balloons are piled based on programmatic and behavioral desires such as climbing, peeking, hiding, and sliding. A script is then run around the digital balloon pile wrapping the balloons in strands based on structural necessity as well as designed edge conditions of more or less porosity.
In the absence of sound the system exists in a state of stable inflation. With the reception of auditory signals from a user the balloons will deflate allowing children to enter and occupy the space. Motion sensors provide a safety function to prevent undesired inflation. The cavity sizes range from twelve feet in diameter to one foot allowing the occupation of many children in a single space, or perhaps only occupation by a hand or toy.
The entire structure is then partially submerged in sand to reduce its height for safety reasons, but also so that children can dig down and experience the joy of discovery."

_Written by Krysten Burton

Photos and video by Haoyuan Ren
© Su Hyun Kim with Guhmsoon and Mushi
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