Shape-changing architectural skins: a review on materials, design and fabrication strategies and performance analysis
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in shape-changing smart materials in design fields. The ability to design responsive architectures that adapt to different climatic conditions is, without doubt, an appealing idea. One area in which shape-changing materials are applied is in the design of building skins or envelopes. This paper presents a systematic review of the literature on the use of shape-changing materials in the development of active skin systems, identifying patterns in design and manufacturing strategies. We also note the stage of development of the proposed designs and whether performance analysis was conducted to predict their behaviour. The results show that the most commonly used materials are SMA (Shape Memory Alloys) and wood-based bio-composites. Other shape-changing materials used for developing skin systems are, in order of popularity, thermo bimetals, electroactive polymers, composite bimetals, shape memory polymers, and hydrogels. The patterns identified among the studies are (1) design strategies: smart material as the skin, smart material as the actuator, combination with other non-responsive materials, responsive structures, geometric amplification; and (2) manufacturing strategies: bilayer systems and additive manufacturing. Finally, while the argument for the development of responsive skin systems is often based on the idea of efficiency and improved performance, we found that few studies can predict the performance of such skin systems.
Abdelmohsen, S., Massoud, P., & Elshafei, A. (2016). Using Tensegrity and Folding to Generate Soft Responsive Architectural Skins. In A. Herneoja, T. Österlund, & P. Markkanen (Eds.), Complexity & Simplicity - Proceedings of the 34th eCAADe Conference (Vol. 1, pp. 529–536). Oulu.
Addington, M. (2010). Smart Materials and Sustainability. Austin: Center for Sustainable Development - The University of Texas at Austin.
Addington, M., & Schodek, D. (2012). Smart Materials and Technologies in Architecture: For the Architecture and Design Professions. Oxford: Routledge.
Adriaenssens, S., Rhode-Barbarigos, L., Kilian, A., Baverel, O., Charpentier, V., Horner, M., & Buzatu, D. (2014). Dialectic form finding of passive and adaptive shading enclosures. Energies, 7(8), 5201–5220. https://doi.org/10.3390/en7085201
Ahmad, I. (1988). Smart structures and materials. Proceeding of US Army Research Office Workshop of Smart Materials, Structures and Mathematical Issues, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Technomic Publishing, 13–16.
Anis, M. (2019). Designing an adaptive building envelope for warm-humid climate with bamboo veneer as a hygroscopically active material. ARCC Conference Repository. Retrieved from https://www.arcc-journal.org/index.php/repository/article/view/652%0A
Augustin, N. (2018). Motion with moisture: Creating Passive Dynamic Envelope Systems Using the Hygroscopic Properties of Wood Veneer. University of Waterloo.
Clifford, D., Zupan, R., Brigham, J., Beblo, R., Whittock, M., & Davis, N. (2017). Application of the dynamic characteristics of shape-memory polymers to climate adaptive building facades. 13th Conference on Advanced Building Skins 2017, 171–178. Bern.
Coelho, M., & Maes, P. (2009). Shutters: A permeable surface for environmental control and communication. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction, 13–18. https://doi.org/10.1145/1517664.1517671
Correa, D., & Menges, A. (2017). FUSED FILAMENT FABRICATION FOR MULTI-KINEMATIC-STATE CLIMATE- RESPONSIVE APERTURE. In A. Menges, B. Sheil, R. Glynn, & M. Skavara (Eds.), Fabricate 2017 (pp. 44–47). London: UCL Press.
Correa, D., Papadopoulou, A., Guberan, C., Jhaveri, N., Reichert, S., Menges, A., & Tibbits, S. (2015). 3D-Printed Wood: Programming Hygroscopic Material Transformations. 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, 2(3), 106–116. https://doi.org/10.1089/3dp.2015.0022
Decker, M., & Zarzycki, A. (2014). Designing Resilient Buildings with Emergent Materials. Fusion - 32nd ECAADe Conference. Conference Proceedings 2014, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, 10-12 September 2014, 2, 179–184. https://doi.org/10.13140/2.1.1060.8967
Diniz, N., Branco, C., & Sales Dias, M. (2017). MORPHOSIS: A responsive membrane. In A. Dong, A. Vande Moere, & J. Gero (Eds.), Computer-aided Architectural Design Futures 2007: Proceedings of the 12th International CAADFutures Conference 2007 (pp. 489–498). Dordrecht: Springer.
Doumpioti, C. (2011). Responsive and Autonomous Material Interfaces. In J. Taron, V. Parlac, B. Kolarevic, & J. Johnson (Eds.), Integration through Computation: Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) (pp. 318–325). Calgary/Banff: The University of Calgary.
Doumpioti, C., Greenberg, E. L., & Karatzas, K. (2010). Embedded Intelligence: Material Responsiveness in Façade Systems. In A. Sprecher, S. Yeshayahu, & P. Lorenzo-Eiroa (Eds.), In LIFE in:formation, On Responsive Information and Variations in Architecture: Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) (pp. 258–262). New York: Cooper Union, Pratt Institute.
El-Dabaa, R., & Abdelmohsen, S. (2018). A Methodology for Evaluating the Hygroscopic Behavior of Wood in Adaptive Building Skins using Motion Grammar. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 362(1). https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/362/1/012011
El-Dabaa, R., & Abdelmohsen, S. (2019). H M T M: Hygromorphic-Thermobimetal Composites as a Novel Approach to Enhance Passive Actuation of Adaptive Façades. Ji-Hyun Lee (Eds.) “Hello, Culture!” [18th International Conference, CAAD Futures 2019, Proceedings / ISBN 978-89-89453-05-5], 290–300. Daejeon.
Elahinia, M., Shayesteh Moghaddam, N., Taheri Andani, M., Amerinatanzi, A., Bimber, B. A., & Hamilton, R. F. (2016). Fabrication of NiTi through additive manufacturing: A review. Progress in Materials Science, 83, 630–663. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmatsci.2016.08.001
Fiorito, F., Sauchelli, M., Arroyo, D., Pesenti, M., Imperadori, M., Masera, G., & Ranzi, G. (2016). Shape morphing solar shadings: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 55, 863–884. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2015.10.086
Formentini, M., & Lenci, S. (2017). An innovative building envelope (kinetic façade) with Shape Memory Alloys used as actuators and sensors. Automation in Construction, 85, 220–231.
Gladman, A. S., Matsumoto, E. A., Nuzzo, R. G., Mahadevan, L., & Lewis, J. A. (2016). Biomimetic 4D printing. 15(April). https://doi.org/10.1038/NMAT4544
Grinham, J., Blabolil, R., & Haak, J. (2014). Harvest Shade Screens Programming Material for Optimal Energy Building Skins. ACADIA 14: Design Agency [Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), 281–290. Los Angeles.
Hannequart, P., Peigney, M., Caron, J., Baverel, O., & Viglino, E. (2018). The Potential of Shape Memory Alloys in Deployable Systems — A Design and Experimental Approach. Humanizing Digital Reality, Vol. 2, pp. 237–246. Singapore: Springer.
Holstov, A., Bridgens, B., & Farmer, G. (2015). Hygromorphic materials for sustainable responsive architecture. Construction and Building Materials, 98, 570–582. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2015.08.136
Holstov, A., Farmer, G., & Bridgens, B. (2017). Sustainable materialisation of responsive architecture. Sustainability (Switzerland), 9(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/su9030435
Juaristi, M., Gómez-Acebo, T., & Monge-Barrio, A. (2018). Qualitative analysis of promising materials and technologies for the design and evaluation of Climate Adaptive Opaque Façades. Building and Environment, 144(August), 482–501. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2018.08.028
Juaristi, M., Monge-barrio, A., Sánchez-ostiz, A., & Gómez-acebo, T. (2018). Exploring the Potential of Smart and Multifunctional Materials in Adaptive Opaque Façade Systems. Journal of Facade Design and Engineering, 6(2), 107–117. https://doi.org/10.7480/jfde.2018.2.2216
Jun, J. W., Silverio, M., Llubia, J. A., Markopoulou, A., Chronis, A., & Dubor, A. (2017). Remembrane: A Shape Changing Adaptive Structure. In G. Çagdas, M. Özkar, L. F. Gül, & E. Gürer (Eds.), Future Trajectories of Computation in Design [17th International Conference, CAAD Futures 2017, Proceedings (pp. 180–198). Istambul.
Khoo, C. K., Salim, F., & Burry, J. (2012). Designing Architectural Morphing Skins with Elastic Modular Systems. International Journal of Architectural Computing, 09(04), 397–419. https://doi.org/10.1260/1478-0718.104.22.1687
Khoo, C. K., & Salim, F. D. (2013). Lumina : A Soft Kinetic Material for Morphing Architectural Skins and Organic User Interfaces. Proceedings of the 2013 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing, 53–62. https://doi.org/10.1145/2493432.2494263
Khoo, C. K., & Shin, J. (2018). Designing with Biomaterials for Responsive Architecture: A soft responsive “ bio-structural ” hydrogel skin. In A. Kepczynska-Walczak & S. Bialkowski (Eds.), Computing for a better tomorrow - Proceedings of the 36th eCAADe Conference (Vol. 2, pp. 285–292). Lodz.
Kolodziej, P., & Rak, J. (2013). Responsive building envelope as a material system of autonomous agents. In B. T. R. Stouffs, P. Janssen, S. Roudavski (Ed.), Open Systems: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA 2013) (pp. 945–954). Hong Kong.
Kretzer, M. (2014). Architecture in the Era of Accelerating Change. ACADIA 2014 Design Agency: Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, 463–472. Los Angeles: Riverside Architectural Press.
Kretzer, M. (2016). Information materials: smart materials for adaptive architecture. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-35150-6
Kretzer, M. (2018). Educating smart materials. Cuadernos Del Centro de Estudios En Diseño y Comunicación. Ensayos, (70), 1–3.
Kretzer, M., & Rossi, D. (2012). ShapeShift. Leonardo, 45(5), 480–481. Retrieved from https://www.muse.jhu.edu/article/484764.
Kyu, Y., Yin, J., & Tang, Y. (2018). Developing an advanced daylight model for building energy tool to simulate dynamic shading device. Solar Energy, 163(July 2017), 140–149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2018.01.082
Lignarolo, L., Lelieveld, C., & Teuffel, P. (2011). Shape morphing wind-responsive facade systems realized with smart materials. In Adaptive Architecture: An International Conference, London, UK, March 3-5, 2011, 1–12. London.
Markopoulou, A. (2015). Design Behaviors ; Programming Matter for Adaptive Architecture. Next Generation Building 2, 1, 57–78. https://doi.org/10.7564/15-NGBJ17
Mazzucchelli, E. S., Alston, M., Brzezicki, M., & Doniacovo, L. (2018). Study of a BIPV adaptive system: Combining timber and photovoltaic technologies. Journal of Facade Design and Engineering, 6(3), 149–162. https://doi.org/10.7480/jfde.2018.3.2602
Méndez Echenagucia, T., Capozzoli, A., Cascone, Y., & Sassone, M. (2015). The early design stage of a building envelope: Multi-objective search through heating, cooling and lighting energy performance analysis. Applied Energy, 154, 577–591. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.04.090
Mokhtar, S., Leung, C., & Chronis, A. (2017). Geometry-Material Coordination for Passive Adaptive Solar Morphing Envelopes. In M. Turrin, B. Peters, W. O’Brien, R. Stouffs, & T. Dogan (Eds.), Proceedings of the Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design (pp. 211–218). Toronto: The society for modeling and simulation international.
Pasold, A., & Worre Foged, I. (2010). Performative Responsive Architecture Powered by Climate. In A. Sprecher, S. Yeshayahu, & P. Lorenzo-Eiroa (Eds.), In LIFE in:formation, On Responsive Information and Variations in Architecture: Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) (pp. 243–249). New York: Cooper Union, Pratt Institute.
Pesenti, M., Masera, G., & Fiorito, F. (2015). Shaping an origami shading device through visual and thermal simulations. Energy Procedia, 78, 346–351. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2015.11.663
Pesenti, M., Masera, G., & Fiorito, F. (2018). Exploration of Adaptive Origami Shading Concepts through Integrated Dynamic Simulations. 24(4), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)AE.1943-5568.0000323.
Pickering, C., & Byrne, J. (2014). The benefits of publishing systematic quantitative literature reviews for PhD candidates and other early-career researchers. 4360. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2013.841651
Reichert, S., Menges, A., & Correa, D. (2015). Meteorosensitive architecture: Biomimetic building skins based on materially embedded and hygroscopically enabled responsiveness. CAD Computer Aided Design, 60, 50–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cad.2014.02.010
Reyssat, E., & Mahadevan, L. (2009). Hygromorphs: from pine cones to biomimetic bilayers. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 6(39), 951–957.
Shimul, S. (2017). Alive by Material: A Study of Dielectric Polymer as a Material with Intrinsic Kinetic Properties for Architectural Application. Texas Tech University.
Shin, D. G., Kim, T. H., & Kim, D. E. (2017). Review of 4D printing materials and their properties. International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing - Green Technology, 4(3), 349–357. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40684-017-0040-z
Sung, D. (2016a). Smart Geometries for Smart Materials : Taming Thermobimetals to Behave Smart Geometries for Smart Materials. Journal of Architectural Education, 4883. https://doi.org/10.1080/10464883.2016.1122479
Sung, D. (2016b). Smart Geometries for Smart Materials : Taming Thermobimetals to Behave Smart Geometries for Smart Materials. 4883. https://doi.org/10.1080/10464883.2016.1122479
Sung, D. K. (2008). Skin Deep : Breathing Life into the Layer between Man and Nature. In AIA Report on University Research (Vol. 3).
Truby, R. L., & Lewis, J. A. (2016). Printing soft matter in three dimensions. Nature, 540(7633), 371–378. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature21003
Vailati, C., Bachtiar, E., Hass, P., Burgert, I., & Rüggeberg, M. (2018). An autonomous shading system based on coupled wood bilayer elements. Energy and Buildings, 158, 1013–1022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.10.042
Vazquez, E., Gursoy, B., & Duarte, J. P. (2019). DESIGNING FOR SHAPE CHANGE: A Case study on 3D Printing Composite Materials for Responsive Architectures. In M. Haeusler, M. A. Schnabel, & T. Fukuda (Eds.), Intelligent & Informed - Proceedings of the 24th CAADRIA Conference - Volume 2, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, 15-18 April 2019 (pp. 243–252). Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington.
Velikov, K., & Thun, G. (2013). Responsive Building Envelopes: Characteristics and Evolving Paradigms. Design and Construction of High-Performance Homes: Building Envelopes, Renewable Energies and Integrated Practice, 75–92.
Verma, S., & Devadass, P. (2013). adaptive [ skins ]: Responsive building skin systems based on tensegrity principles. FUTURE TRADITIONS 1st ECAADe Regional International Workshop Proceedings, 155–170. Porto: University of Porto, Faculty of Architecture.
Wood, D., Vailati, C., Menges, A., & Rüggeberg, M. (2018). Hygroscopically actuated wood elements for weather responsive and self-forming building parts – Facilitating upscaling and complex shape changes. Construction and Building Materials, 165, 782–791. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2017.12.134
Wood, Dylan, Correa, D., Krieg, O. D., & Menges, A. (2016). Material computation-4D timber construction: Towards building-scale hygroscopic actuated, self-constructing timber surfaces. International Journal of Architectural Computing, 14(1), 49–62. https://doi.org/10.1177/1478077115625522
Worre Foged, I., & Pasold, A. (2015). Thermal Activated Envelope : Development of a Method and Model for Programming Material Behaviour in a Responsive Envelope. In B. Martens, G. Wurzer, G. T, W. Lorenz, & R. Schaffranek (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd eCAADe Conference - Volume 2, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria, 16-18 September 2015 (pp. 449–458). Vienna, Austria: Vienna University of Technology.
Worre Foged, I., Pasold, A., & Pelosini, T. (2019). Material Studies for Thermal Responsive Composite. Sousa, JP, Xavier, JP and Castro Henriques, G (Eds.), Architecture in the Age of the 4th Industrial Revolution - Proceedings of the 37th ECAADe and 23rd SIGraDi Conference, 1, 207–214. Porto, Portugal.
Yoon, J. (2019). SMP Prototype Design and Fabrication for Thermo- responsive Façade Elements. Journal of Facade Design and Engineering, 7(1), 41–62. https://doi.org/10.7480/jfde.2019.1.2662
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.Author(s) hold their copyright without restrictions.