by Sushant Verma and Pradeep Devadass
AA Emtech


28 March 2013
Architectural Association, London


The project investigates responsive building skin systems that adapt to the dynamic environmental conditions. These systems regulate the internal conditions in a habitable space over different periods of time by exhibiting a state of motion and dynamism. Heat and light are the primary parameters for regulation, leading to energy efficiency and dynamic spatial effects. Passive and active skins using shape memory alloys and pneumatic actuators are developed through investigations of smart systems that integrate smart materials and smart geometries. The precedents in this domain have rarely dealt with individually controlled multiple parameters of heat and light in a single system, which is attempted in this project. Owing to the complexity of the multi-parametric system, genetic algorithms are developed for system optimization and calibrated with physical prototypes at varied scales. The developed systems are tested against two distinct climatic models – New Delhi and Barcelona – and evaluated for performance, based on heat and light, which are quantified as solar gain and illuminance as principles, and daylight factor for evaluation purposes. The use of genetic algorithms makes problem-solving faster and more accurate. New tool-sets are developed in the process by combining various digital tools, to create a real-time feedback and memory loop system.


For more information:

Adaptive Skins website

Adaptive Skins video

rat[LAB] – Research in Architecture & Technology

RoboFold Ltd. London

AA Emtech Programme Site

AA Emtech Programme Brief