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Intelligent Architecture Comes To Life In The Kinetic Pavilion

iMal creates an achitectural installation that reacts to weather, social networks, and human activity.
February 7, 2012, 5:08pm

The iMaL is a Belgian art center, artist shelter, community center, and hang out place for the most hardware-savvy European creators (those who'll say “mono” and expect you to know they mean "motherboard"). Last winter, the non-profit team that runs iMal gathered the Dorkbot community in Brussels. A year later, they are trying to champion the notion of "intelligent architecture" with this stunning reactive installation designed by Elise Elsacker and Yannick Bontinckx.


Their Kinetic Pavilion is a sophisticated, lightweight structure that reacts to weather conditions, the motions of passersby, and social networks, as well as “people flows and human communication, environmental factors and ecological considerations.” The goal assigned to this architectural structure is “to redefine three-dimensional space by making it dependent on digital data.”

The ‘intelligent’ epithet comes from the vast array of transformations of this augmented canopy—see here for an exhaustive list—that makes it a prototype of augmented smart architecture. In cold regions, for instance, the roof surface of the pavilion orients itself toward the sun in order to maximize energy efficiency. But a motion detector can turn the piece into a functional device able to detect and record human flow and analyze the behavior of people passing by.

The allure, modular shape, and interactivity of this piece strongly reminds us of another kinetic installation, Tessel, created by David Letellier and Lab[au] in 2011.

Elsacker and Bontinckx created a conceptual scale model of Kinetic Pavilion to demonstrate its functionality, which you can see in the video below.

Photos and vidéo courtesy of Elise Elsacker and Yannick Bontinckx.