Fibonacci’s Mashrabiya

January 14, 2018

Fractal-based environmental screen

Mashrabiya is an Arabic term for a type of bay window with carved wooden latticework. A traditional element of Arabic architecture, the screen device permits the passage of air and access to views while maintaining the privacy of building occupants. Fibonacci’s Mashrabiya is a contemporary interpretation of this historic building component and reenvisions the screen apparatus via computer algorithms and digital fabrication methods. Recognizing that the traditional mashrabiya enables a range of environmental effects through modulation of its pattern density and frame thickness, researchers at MIT employed fractal patterns derived from the Fibonacci sequence to manipulate air and light in new ways. The profile of the resulting CNC-milled acrylic panel varies with depth, imparting the screen with air-, light- and view-directing properties. As with the historic mashrabiya, the overall pattern and structure may be tuned to the microclimatic specificities of particular environments.

Contact: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mediated Matter Group, Cambridge, MA, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future

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