Emergent Surface

June 4, 2010

Linear adaptive shading system

Based on new technologies for adaptive building skins, Emergent Surface is a wall that continuously reconfigures itself–portions selectively disappear and reappear. In one condition, the piece appears as a solid surface with three-dimensional curvature. In another, it resolves itself into seven slender poles, running floor to ceiling. And between these extremes lie an infinite variety of configurations.

These different states represent the physical embodiment of digital information. As such, Emergent Surface represents a kind of ‘material media’, operating not on bandwidths of light and sound, but in terms of variable solidity and permeability.

The underlying technology demonstrated by Emergent Surface is Hoberman’s linear shading system, composed of a series of individually controlled units that extend from minimal profiles into profiles that can be tailored to custom geometries.

In aggregate, the units can create a computer-controlled cellular shading system. An algorithm combining historic solar gain data with real-time sensing of light levels controls the shading units.

Contact: Hoberman Associates, New York, NY, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial 3: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine our Physical Environment

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