Fall2011


PowerHouse SmartSurface

Designing a smart surface – Temporal, Mechanical, Environmental

The first project asks you to consider what a smart surface might look like, what its performance might be, and how it will behave.  This research / design project will function to get your team started and to build your basic skill set.  Each week the project scope will increase and the teams will change as a means to support in class discussion and to accelerate your investigation of the course topic.

The focus of the 2011 SmartSurfaces course is ‘Power’ – in the form of electricity in a localized grid and in terms of taking control by becoming an example of self-reliance.  Our clients will be Power House Productions (PHP) - an incorporated nonprofit whose mission is to develop and implement neighborhood stabilization strategies in a Detroit neighborhood near Hamtramck. 

We are interested in the ability to solve simultaneous problems relevant to multiple fields of study and as such, your task for the first phase of the course will be driven by three divergent criterions*.  It is our belief that the global problems we currently face are the result of reductive modes of thought that sought to optimize single criteria and conversely this course seeks to bring multiple voices together to explore design able to solve multiple problems with one solution.  But before we can attack the big global issues we must first learn how to work in teams and explore this concept at a manageable scale.

•    Make a surface that synthesizes the three criteria* selected by your team
•    Make a surface comprised of at least 9 interlocking components
•    The surface should be no greater than 3’ x 3’ in dimension
•    Document the design process as a decision tree
•    On your blog document the team structure and roles, and the various prototypes made
•    Present the surface and process at the start of next class

Criteria* - Each team will randomly choose one from each category:

 Temporal
 Hourly  Daily
 Seasonally 
 Annually
 Mechanical  Folding  Sliding  Rotating
 Inflating
 Environmental 
 Light
 Heat  Water  Wind

•    How was your team able to synthesize the form, function and behavior of the surface?
•    How does your team evaluate the surface’s efficiency, durability and economy?
•    How does your team value the complexity of the proposal (could it be more simple)?
•    How does your team value the spectacle of the proposal?

In addition to documenting and recording the project, process, and criteria (from above), please include the following issues in your project report:
•    Within the constraints of the brief, did the team define a high value problem?
•    How were tasks delegated?
•    How were the tools, conditions and constraints negotiated?
•    How were time, resources and team capabilities negotiated?
•    Use a decision tree to aid in the description of the process.




Project 1: Seasonally - Rotating - Light (aka "the floodlight")

Keywords: energy efficiency sun angle available control brainstorming aperture light ventilation direct relationship 2d-3d module array bounce through thinking sketching talking priorities collect energy spin hibernation validate levels consensus democratic integrating longevity visual residual rotation potential security independent horizontal color capture mechanical energy structure self-aggregating reciprocal security outdoors passive evolution cluster follow psychological optical wall lawn weather resistant eliminate moving transmit active propel passive engagement fun public interaction pedestrian activity sidewalk playfulness self-awareness personality self-sufficient theft-proof spatial threshold artificial natural evergreen criminal wireless benefit durability

Sept 6.
Initial teams formed.  Start.
Dylan Box
Stephanie Nixon
Patty McCormick
Branden Clements
Erika Lindsay
Ning Wang


Sept 13
.
Each team will present their surface at the start of class.  We hope to see multiple attempts, mock-ups and prototypes developed using chipboard and corrugated cardboard as a means to describe your surface.  For week 1, the project can be manually operated.  After the presentation the personnel on each team will be changed.  The surfaces presented will be used as starting points and extra criteria and materials added.  The surface is required to illuminate using an Arduino and LEDs.

Branden Clements
Brian Muscat
Alexander Watanabe
Ben Hagenhofer-Daniell
Natalie Smith
Yun Tae Kim

Sept 20.
Each team will present their smarter surface at the start of class.  After the presentation the personnel on each team will be changed.  The surfaces presented will be used as starting points and extra criteria and materials added. The surface is required to illuminate using an Arduino and LEDs and track the sun using photoresistors and a motor.

Maria Galarza
Ted Teng
Micaela McCabe
Justin Moyer
Peyton Spaller
Yun Tae Kim


Sept 27.

Each team will present their even smarter surface at the start of class.  After the presentation the personnel on each team will be changed.  The surfaces presented will be used as starting points and extra criteria added.  The surfaces are required to illuminate using an Arduino and LEDs and track the sun using photoresistors and a motor.  Each team will be required to incorporate a battery and photovoltaic cells into their system.  The surfaces must operate in an off-grid condition (i.e. able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services).  We will visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum to learn how nature solves these issues.

Steven Griffiths
Kevin Wayne
Keenan May
Lauren Vasey
Ning Wang
Jingyao Wu

October 4.
Each team will present their Off-Grid, Solar-Tracking, Illuminated Surface (OGSTIS) to our clients Power House Productions (PHP) in Hamtramck.  The OGSTIS must survive the trip to Detroit and be able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services.  Teams must be ready to solicit input and advice from our clients as to the appropriateness of their solutions.  Further instructions will be issued.



Project 2: Hourly - Folding - Water (aka "the trellis")


Keywords: means representation measuring rate passes through held within physically rods cones folds larger area cistern flushing watering checkerboard weight dispersal sense moisture levels agricultural watering regulation dry unused woven structure containment angrily problem mass integral utilities rain shadows low-res result behavior passive collecting representing billboard shame invisible origami balloons material urban bio-mimicry stiffening compression membrane concentrate flow moisture insulation hi-tech plants gravity pressure urban desert home-grown global efficiency light northern facade mirror light well minimal tension structure fruit clay database helical water error-checking plant power garden light float sensor fresnel sun tunnel diffuser reservoir gravity porcelain hydroponic greenhouse self-monitoring maintenance culture function spectacle light durable

Sept 6.
Initial teams formed.  Start.

Lindsey Eldredge-Fox
Brian Muscat
Justin Moyer
Maria Galarza
Keenan Hurlin May
Alexander Watanabe


Sept 13
.
Each team will present their surface at the start of class.  We hope to see multiple attempts, mock-ups and prototypes developed using chipboard and corrugated cardboard as a means to describe your surface.  For week 1, the project can be manually operated.  After the presentation the personnel on each team will be changed.  The surfaces presented will be used as starting points and extra criteria and materials added.  The surface is required to illuminate using an Arduino and LEDs.

Dylan Box
Erika Lindsay
Justin Moyer
Stephanie Schutter
Ted Teng
Garret Huff
Lauren Vasey

Sept 20.
Each team will present their smarter surface at the start of class.  After the presentation the personnel on each team will be changed.  The surfaces presented will be used as starting points and extra criteria and materials added. The surface is required to illuminate using an Arduino and LEDs and track the sun using photoresistors and a motor.

Dylan Box
Stephanie Schutter
Steven Griffiths
Kevin Wayne
Ning Wang
Alexander Watanabe


Sept 27.

Each team will present their even smarter surface at the start of class.  After the presentation the personnel on each team will be changed.  The surfaces presented will be used as starting points and extra criteria added.  The surfaces are required to illuminate using an Arduino and LEDs and track the sun using photoresistors and a motor.  Each team will be required to incorporate a battery and photovoltaic cells into their system.  The surfaces must operate in an off-grid condition (i.e. able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services).  We will visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum to learn how nature solves these issues.

Peyton Spaller
Micaela McCabe
Rachel Meyers
Natalie Smith
Ben Hagenhofer-Daniell
Erika Lindsay

October 4.
Each team will present their Off-Grid, Solar-Tracking, Illuminated Surface (OGSTIS) to our clients Power House Productions (PHP) in Hamtramck.  The OGSTIS must survive the trip to Detroit and be able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services.  Teams must be ready to solicit input and advice from our clients as to the appropriateness of their solutions.  Further instructions will be issued.



Project 3: Daily - Inflating - Wind (aka "the filter")


Keywords: events input output turbine fan storage breezy stores energy mechanically spring ratchet registration fully wound stopped in-between layers motion open closed bags pressure regulation airflow light body closed volume displacing generation control impure organisms colony bellows filter color efficiency durability spectacle blinking convection patterns ventilation unconventional infiltration online streaming bellows pumps pressurized gasket expansion pressure vacuum differential aperture triangulated rotational degree pressure relative gradient pressurized withstand assumption wind temperature change dynamic seal control waveguide pv collecting energy accommodates fluorescent ventilation expensive module clustering filter angle color

Sept 6.
Initial teams formed.  Start.
Stephanie Schutter
Steven Griffiths
Micaela McCabe
Gloria Maria Murillo
Ben Hagenhofer-Daniell
Ted Teng
Jingyao Wu


Sept 13
.
Each team will present their surface at the start of class.  We hope to see multiple attempts, mock-ups and prototypes developed using chipboard and corrugated cardboard as a means to describe your surface.  For week 1, the project can be manually operated.  After the presentation the personnel on each team will be changed.  The surfaces presented will be used as starting points and extra criteria and materials added.  The surface is required to illuminate using an Arduino and LEDs.

Stephanie Nixon
Ning Wang
Maria Galarza
Steven Griffiths
Rachel Meyers
Peyton Spaller

Sept 20.
Each team will present their smarter surface at the start of class.  After the presentation the personnel on each team will be changed.  The surfaces presented will be used as starting points and extra criteria and materials added. The surface is required to illuminate using an Arduino and LEDs and track the sun using photoresistors and a motor.

Erika Lindsay
Keenan May
Lauren Vasey
Stephanie Nixon
Brian Muscat
Natalie Smith


Sept 27.

Each team will present their even smarter surface at the start of class.  After the presentation the personnel on each team will be changed.  The surfaces presented will be used as starting points and extra criteria added.  The surfaces are required to illuminate using an Arduino and LEDs and track the sun using photoresistors and a motor.  Each team will be required to incorporate a battery and photovoltaic cells into their system.  The surfaces must operate in an off-grid condition (i.e. able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services).  We will visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum to learn how nature solves these issues.

Garret Huff
Dylan Box
Lindsey Eldredge-Fox
Branden Clements
Yun Tae Kim
Alexander Watanabe

October 4.
Each team will present their Off-Grid, Solar-Tracking, Illuminated Surface (OGSTIS) to our clients Power House Productions (PHP) in Hamtramck.  The OGSTIS must survive the trip to Detroit and be able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services.  Teams must be ready to solicit input and advice from our clients as to the appropriateness of their solutions.  Further instructions will be issued.



Project 4: Annually - Sliding - Heat (aka "the venetian blind")


Keywords: passive airflow light ventilation problem play pull taught summer cool dark shades materiality cause sun maneuver reflect close gap circle panels open close keep-in keep-out background storage process design advantage insulating develop split set respect ideas respond friction collect venting insulation breathing rotating telescope chimney operative consistency mitigate gain multimaterial dynamic data-driven proximity override humanistic psychology behavior circadian energy security environment protect mirror lighting reflector orienting energy water shower compares glass tracking efficiency difference interior efficient system copper mechanism water specific sunrise sunset flaps security constraints pragmatic integrate applied subtlety

Sept 6.
Initial teams formed.  Start.
Natalie Smith
Garret Huff
Rachel Meyers
Kevin Wayne
Yun Tae Kim
Lauren Vasey


Sept 13
.
Each team will present their surface at the start of class.  We hope to see multiple attempts, mock-ups and prototypes developed using chipboard and corrugated cardboard as a means to describe your surface.  For week 1, the project can be manually operated.  After the presentation the personnel on each team will be changed.  The surfaces presented will be used as starting points and extra criteria and materials added.  The surface is required to illuminate using an Arduino and LEDs.

Lindsey Eldredge-Fox
Keenan Hurlin May
Jingyao Wu
Kevin Wayne
Micaela McCabe

Sept 20.
Each team will present their smarter surface at the start of class.  After the presentation the personnel on each team will be changed.  The surfaces presented will be used as starting points and extra criteria and materials added. The surface is required to illuminate using an Arduino and LEDs and track the sun using photoresistors and a motor.

Branden Clements
Ben Hagenhofer-Daniell
Jingyao Wu
Lindsey Eldredge-Fox
Rachel Meyers
Garret Huff


Sept 27.

Each team will present their even smarter surface at the start of class.  After the presentation the personnel on each team will be changed.  The surfaces presented will be used as starting points and extra criteria added.  The surfaces are required to illuminate using an Arduino and LEDs and track the sun using photoresistors and a motor.  Each team will be required to incorporate a battery and photovoltaic cells into their system.  The surfaces must operate in an off-grid condition (i.e. able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services).  We will visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum to learn how nature solves these issues.

Justin Moyer
Brian Muscat
Stephanie Nixon
Stephanie Schutter
Maria Galarza
Ted Teng

October 4.
Each team will present their Off-Grid, Solar-Tracking, Illuminated Surface (OGSTIS) to our clients Power House Productions (PHP) in Hamtramck.  The OGSTIS must survive the trip to Detroit and be able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services.  Teams must be ready to solicit input and advice from our clients as to the appropriateness of their solutions.  Further instructions will be issued.



The final teams are:

SmartFence:
Brian Muscat
Kevin Wayne
Lauren Vasey
Keenan Hurlin May
Ben Hagenhofer-Daniell
Stephanie Nixon

WaterLilly:
Lindsey Eldredge-Fox
Justin Moyer
Yun Tae Kim
Dylan Box
Branden Clements
Erika Lindsay

Mathatters (formerly Otto):

Micaela McCabe
Payton Spaller
Maria Galarza

Fnut (formerly Otto):

Alexander Watanabe
Ted Teng
Jingyao Wu

Dragon:

Natalie Smith
Garret Huff
Ning Wang
Steven Griffiths
Stephanie Schutter
Rachel Meyers



Dylan  Box


Dylan Box is a Senior in the Art & Design program studying Industrial and Graphic Design. Focusing on social entrepreneurship and social design, he is currently working on architectural design of community water centers with WaterHealth India. In addition to not sleeping throughout most of the year, he organizes the Design team for TEDxUofM, and is the layout editor of the campus humor magazine, The Gargoyle.



Lindsey Eldredge-Fox

Lindsey Fox is currently a junior in the school of art and design with a minor in environmental science and geology at the University of Michigan. She focuses primarily in the area of fibers with sculptural and printmaking endeavors as well. Through this fibers exploration she has found a niche in the area of surface design, not only as a purely visual creation, but exploring into the realms of smart and responsive surfaces. Lindsey uses her strong interest in plants, sustainability, geology, and other more environmentally centered disciplines to guide her designs and way of thinking. She plans to study abroad in the UK to further pursue this interest in surface design during Winter 2012.



Micaela McCabe

Micaela McCabe is a junior in the dual-degree program, studying International Development and Social Change as well as Art and Design with a minor in Multidisciplinary Design. She is taking Smart Surfaces for the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from students from other disciplines as well as expand her own skill set in the field of design. She is especially excited to be working with Power House this semester as it fits beautifully with her interest in product design to support development. Micaela is involved in AIESEC, Alternative Spring Break, and the Pantanal Partnership, and is an avid participant in IM Sports.



Rachel Meyers

Rachel Meyers is a Junior in the Art & Design program. She is a mostly self-taught computer freak who enjoys technology and computer languages. Rachel loves the outdoors and biological sciences, and has worked on Horticulture staff at Frederik Meijer Gardens. Because of this interest in biological science, Rachel is obsessed with biomimicry and patterning.  Which, in addition to getting to learn more about computers and technology, is what made Rachel apply to the smart surfaces course.



Brian Muscat


Brian is currently studying at the School of Art & Design, previously studied at the Taubman College of Architecture. Through his studies, he has found many overlaps between the two and has experienced how each can inform the other. He is interested in a popular concept of rapid prototyping where the initial mold can be multi-faceted with exponential outcomes.



Stephanie Nixon


I am a junior in the School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan. My second year at the university I spent a lot of time focusing on graphic design. This year my interests have expanded to product design, industrial design and more hands-on skills. I am also very interested in green technology and sustainable energy solutions. I am eager to work with other students outside my department and collaborate on real-world projects.



Stephanie Schutter


Stephanie Schutter is a Junior in the School of Art & Design with a focus on Industrial and Product Design. Her primary goal through her work is to meet needs by creating more than just a product. The ultimate object is create an heirloom object that will be in use and loved for generations to come. Driven by curiosity, she entered Smart Surfaces for the opportunity to be challenged to breaking point, to learn new tools for future endeavors, and to start working alongside people of differing viewpoints...because she might be doing that for the rest of her life and had to start sometime!



Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith is a junior in the BFA program at University of Michigan's School of Art and Design, focusing in Animation and Visual Effects. Her interests continue to broaden throughout college as different opportunities have risen. Natalie is super stoked to be working with the Power House in Detroit, and to be able to create something for them. While committed SmartSurfaces, she plans to take advantage of the adventures and new experiences that the course has to offer. She is most looking forward to learning new skills, and working in groups of people from different disciplines. When Natalie's time isn't consumed by SmartSurfaces, she loves swimming, running, hiking, traveling, knitting, and crocheting. After graduating she hopes to work in a major animation studio or creating visual effects within the film industry.



Steven Griffiths

Steven Griffiths is a senior in Materials Science and Engineering. His primary research experience has been in photovoltaic applications in both academia (with Professor Akram Boukai) and in industry (with Dow Corning). Steven’s interest in alternative energy spills over into his passion for environmental conservatism and resource responsibility. This fuels his excitement to work with the Power House in Detroit this semester. He is thrilled to be a part of this collaborative effort, comprised of architecture, art & design, and fellow engineering students to conceive and create smart surfaces. Steven hopes to both work and play hard in Design Laboratory 1, and he can’t wait to see what the class comes up with.



Garret Huff

Garret Huff is a senior majoring in Materials Science & Engineering and minoring in German.  Since arriving at Michigan in 2008 and through last year, he was heavily involved in the MRacing Formula SAE team, which designs, builds and races a formula-style racecar every year.  In addition to being a racecar driver and engineer, Garret's resumé includes research experience and internships, which have focused on metals and advanced ceramics.  Over the summer, he worked in a team at Bosch in Stuttgart, Germany, which focuses on developing materials for energy applications.  For Garret, the opportunity to work with students from other majors and attempt to solve today's problems is a fantastic one, and he looks forward to seeing how we may mold the future of energy efficient housing.



Justin Moyer

Justin Moyer is a senior studying Materials Science and Engineering. He is a member of the Engineering Global Leadership Honors Program and will receive a BSE in 2012 and an MSE in 2013. He is also a peer advisor for the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship where he helps students interested in starting businesses or developing the entrepreneurial mindset. He is involved in a number of alternative energy / sustainability projects and would one day like to start a company in the CleanTech space.



Kevin Wayne

Kevin is a senior in the Materials Science and Engineering program. He has performed researched in the fields of photovoltaics, thermoelectric devices, and several other renewable type projects.  The draw of the SmartSurfaces course is the ability to take the project all the way to its conclusion and build it, something that is rare in the MSE department. Outside of class, Kevin is the vice-president of the Michigan Materials Society.


Payton Spaller


Payton Spaller is currently a senior in Materials Science and Engineering. He is interested in this class because of the opportunity to design and build with people outside his own major. Creating an installation in Detroit, The Motor City, centered on renewable energy is another impetus in his joining the class. Having a class which blends his personal interests in fabrication, photography, and Arduino were all the more reason to take advantage of the opportunity and join.



Branden Clements

Branden is a dual degree Master of Architecture and Master of Construction Engineering student at the University of Michigan. His academic endeavors focus on the application of construction knowledge to the design process. He believes that a closer integration of these two fields will create improved Architecture, greater environmental benefits, and reduced costs to architects, contractors, and owners. Furthermore, he is also interested in global markets and entrepreneurship, and is always thinking of ways to leverage the building industry's creative and constructive talents.



Maria Galarza


Maria Galarza is a 3rd year graduate student completing a Masters in Architecture and Urban Planning. Her interest are social,economic and political conditions in large urbanized areas and their relationship to the built environment.



Ben Hagenhofer-Daniell

My mother always said I was handy...



Yun Tae Kim

"Computers are useful. They always give you answers."



Erika J Lindsay

restless wanderer. scavenger. innovator. maker.
experimental filmmaker + photographer. currently studying architecture to explore the intersections between film, space + time. inquisitive about signs of life in strange places. fascinated by human interaction with constructed environment. seeks solace within collective anonymity. finds refuge in great bodies of water.



Keenan Hurlin May

I'm a 2nd year graduate at TCAUP. My hobbies are skiing, surfing, photography.  I own a photography gallery that operates in the summer in Northern Michigan called Leelanau Lab.  As it pertains to architecture,  I've spent most of my professional life at LMN in Seattle where I worked as a designer on large scale mixed use developments.  I currently work with Powerleap in Ann Arbor as a designer of energy harvesting and data gathering floor systems.  Earlier this year I bought an Arduino, in coordination with Responsive Surfaces, and have since been using it for applications in energy reduction via lighting automation in my gallery.  I'm excited and honored to work with Karl, John, and Max and hope to design and build respected projects.



ZhenRuo (Ted) Teng

I am a 2G graduate architecture student. I graduated in 2009 from the University of Waterloo in Canada with a 5 year bachelor degree in Architectural Studies. During undergrad I traveled, worked and studied abroad extensively. I started a rendering business in Canada in 2007 and is constantly looking for new opportunities to apply my skills and knowledge. I am currently focused on gaining and improving my fabrication/digital prototyping skill set,  as well as learning parametric modeling and scripting. I would like to pursue my future careers in China and is excited at the possibilities for design innovations and challenges.



Lauren Vasey

Lauren Vasey is an architectural Masters candidate at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of Michigan. Prior to coming to Michigan, she received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Tufts University in 2008 where she studied civil engineering and architectural studies and had an interest in art history and computer science.

Lauren is interested in the redefining architecture's disciplinary boundaries through the importation and application of technology into the process and production of architecture. As a maker, she is interested in
material and structural behavior becoming active inputs in the design architectural form. 

At Michigan, she is active in ongoing research initiatives in the FABlab, where she a contributing member of the Fabrication Robotics Network, an open source collaboration for the advancement of robotic fabrication methods in architecture.



Ning Wang

Ning Wang is an architecture student in University of Michigan. She finished her undergraduate education in China's first interdisciplinary prgoram - Yuanpei College in Peking University and concentrated on mathematics. After that, she decided to pursue her longtime dream of architecture in the graduate program. She is a geek in parametric design and scripting, but also a big fan of handcraft. She took most of the digital fabrication courses in Taubman College and is working as TA in the FabLab there now.

She is always interested in interdisciplinary study and design, since she thinks architecture is a perfect example of interdisciplinary discipline. She wants to design smart buildings which would respond to environmental inputs and contextual condition. And SmartSurfaces is a perfect threshold platform for this goal.



Alexander Watanabe

"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."



Jingyao Wu

Jingyao Wu is a Master of Architecture student at the University of Michigan. Before starting her graduate education in the UM, she received bachelor of architecture from Wuhan University of Science and Technology in China. She is interested in exploring what architecture could be like with parametric implements and how design can be incorporated with technologies to bring social and environment benefits to our future life.


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