HygroScope is an installation sponsored by the Centre Pompidou in Paris and was developed as a collaboration between Steffen Reichert and Professor Achim Menges at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. The project is an extension of prior research conducted by Reichert that culminated in two projects entitled Responsive Surfaces Structures I & II. Both Steffen Reichert and Professor Achim Menges interests revolve around non-mechanical interactive projects that are actuated based the material’s natural properties and prompted by atmospheric conditions.
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The two explain the project as so:
HygroScope explores a novel mode of responsive architecture based on the combination of material inherent behaviour and computational morphogenesis. The dimensional instability of wood in relation to moisture content is employed to construct a climate responsive architectural morphology. Suspended within a humidity controlled glass case the model opens and closes in response to climate changes with no need for any technical equipment or energy. Mere fluctuations in relative humidity trigger the silent changes of material-innate movement. The material structure itself is the machine.
The project was commissioned by the Centre Pompidou Paris for its permanent collection and will be first shown in the exhibition “Multiversites Creatives” starting on 2nd of May 2012.