Interactive window installation
Living moss, concrete, plaster, interfacing, steel, wood, and custom 3d prints
Articulated with sensors, motors, and microprocessors
This prototype is a responsive architectural element with applied biophilic design methodology. It is a window unit with living moss, within which automated apertures are embedded. The apertures primarily open and close according to the very specific light needs of the moss. Moss thrives when it has a few hours of direct morning sunlight, and then diffused or no light the rest of the day. The apertures also open and close when humans are detected by sensors. If a person is detected within five feet of the project (this distance can be changed to accommodate people’s preferences), and the apertures were closed, they will open. If a person is not detected in the space for over ten minutes, then the apertures will go back to being automated according to the light needs of the moss. In this way, the project gives agency to both humans and living vegetation.
The project integrates biophilic design elements to help foster a connection between humans and nature. I attempt to foster this connection within the project in two ways; firstly through providing humans exposure to living vegetation. Secondly, I do this by allowing the needs of the moss to have precedence in a design element, through the use of automated responsiveness, that would ordinarily only accommodate human needs. In this second instance I strive to allow the human inhabitants of the space to not just see the plants, but to also cohabitate with them in such a way where they share agency in a mutually beneficial system. I hypothesize that this shared agency might help people understand the needs of the moss with such frequency, that it invokes a level of conscious contemplation about this living organism which heightens their awareness of nature. If this hypothesis is true, then the result is a responsive architecture that not only houses biophilic design elements, but also uses its responsive qualities to further provide a connection between humans and nature.