Mahtab Oskuee*

Posted on Thursday, June 19th, 2014 at 9:35 am

The project is a prototype for an actuated textile.

curtain from RAD Lab on Vimeo.

The membrane’s need to respond to contradictory forces such as privacy versus light, or view versus insulation, resulted in an textile that can open and close locally without the aid of an external or hard mechanical infrastructure.

As a quintessential domestic technique, crochet is harnessed for its capacity to model mathematically complex topological surfaces (Taimina 2009). Proximity sensors are distributed within the textile, triggering a cluster of modules to close upon sensing a viewer. Caressing the surface with one’s hand expands the zone of privacy.

The module’s form evolved directly from trial and error experimentation with Shape Memory Alloy behavior. The crenellation—the result of an exponential increase in stitches with each concentric row—allows each module to close and open without deforming the entire surface. The edge’s expanded surface accommodates a longer SMA wire, increasing actuation, while a pulsating current minimizes energy use.

*Supervised by: Carol Moukheiber

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