nafas*

Adib Dada

a breathing building skin that will exhibit symptoms of good or poor health depending on the pollution levels in its urban context

http://itp.nyu.edu/shows/thesis2011/adib-dada/



nafas* investigates the broad scope of Interactive Architecture and delves specifically into the field of Breathing Architecture.
nafas grows out of its site as an urban ecosystem, filtering pollutants out of the air through its algae and plant-filled atrium, organic photocatalyzing materials and providing habitat for displaced fauna and flora in the urban context.
As a bio-remediation system, nafas senses pollution levels in the city and actuates its skin in response, expanding and contracting it. nafas thus simulates a person's breath to create a visceral connection with urbanites and empower them to diagnose sick neighborhoods by analyzing their buildings' breathing pattern.
*nafas is arabic for breath

Background
Design Ecologies
How to Grow Fresh Air, Wolverton
Hylozoic Ground, Philip Beesley
Breathing Architecture, Kengo Kuma
Life and The Geometry Of the Environment
Ken Yeang
Kienan Timberlake Architects


Audience
urban dwellers
displaced fauna and flora
cities

User Scenario
walking down the street, i have a hard time avoiding the cars. as i inch forward among the honking and swearing, my lungs are assaulted by the fumes. i start hearing my breath, fast, shallow, almost suffocating. but wait, this is not coming from me! as i look around me, i see a strange building draped in a translucent skin. its skin is billowing, and i realize that the sound of breathing is emanating from the building. moving closer, the building sounds like it's suffocating. its skin expands and contracts in rapid succession. inhaling and exhaling shallowly, just as i'm doing..
wouldn't it be great if you could diagnose sick neighborhoods by their buildings' breathing pattern?

Conclusion
breathing architecture thus not only aims to be dynamic, interactive, integrative and restorative, it also demands a new functional aesthetic. one that is not fully technological nor fully natural, but striking just the right balance. it demands as well a reconsideration of the use and production of materials and energy. so what if materials can be grown? and energy harvested? well some of them already are!