Make Architecture



11. Final Proposal Update

For the final project, I want to make a floor tile system that uses piezo electric film to light embedded LEDs. The process will involve the CNC shopbot, form work, casting, and electronics.

The tile will be similar to the one I made for casting & forming week.

Piezo electric film switch


Ada – Inteligent Room

A novel artificial organism, a creature in the shape of a space that can perceive and react to its surroundings. At the same time, her form facilitates a novel interaction between humans and machine that goes beyond the possibilities offered by a conventional computer, such as keyboard, mouse or joystick. Ada has sensory organs. She can see, hear and sense touch and contact. While Ada cannot communicate with words, she expresses herself through sounds, light and projections. Ada likewise learns how to synchronise her various components, such as the floor plates, the movable eyes and the light fingers. Ada is able to remember the visitors with whom she has played and whose gestures, movements and sounds she has observed. Swiss Expo 2002

Enteractive – Interactive Carpet

Designed by Electroland. Interactive environments which use layers of technology to intelligently register the movement of pedestrians through public space. Walkways, entries, and façades come alive in response to simple human actions.

Parts List:

  • 1/4″ or 1/2″ MDF
  • 1/4″ L-shape metal angle
  • 3 Trial Pack of OOMOO-30 (10 lbs+)
  • Smooth Cast -300 (20 lbs+)
  • Smooth-On Crystal Clear 202 (20 lbs+)
  • Piezo electric film
  • LEDs
  • Misc electronic components (wire, switch, etc)
  • Electrical engineer with time


  • 5/12 Design
  • 5/13 CNC Shopbot
  • 5/14 Welding
  • 5/15 Electronics Day 1
  • 5/16 Form work & Casting
  • 5/17 Electronics Day 2
  • 5/18 Make it work
  • 5/19 Documentation
  • 5/21 Final Presentation

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Instructor: Nick Gelpi TA: Skylar Tibbits TA: Varvara Toulkeridou
Class Times, Monday, 1-4pm - room 5-216
4.184 is an intensive introduction to methods of making explored through a wide range of brief but focused 1-week exercises. We'll engage the real and leave behind representation in the focused context of this class gaining skills for utilizing a range of fabrication machines and technologies from lasercutting, waterjet, 3D printing, welding, formworking-molding, casting, gears, joints and composites.
In this workshop we'll constrain ourselves to the territory of the 1:1. Students will represent architectural constructions at full scale and develop a more intimate relationship with technology by engaging the tools and techniques that empower us. We will gain access to the most cutting edge machines and technologies in the MARS lab at the Center for Bits and Atoms.
The second layer of information for this course will be to look at a series of case studies in which construction methods and technologies have played a dominant role in the design process .
Over the past 20 years, architects have focused on the technology of representation to create new ideas of what architecture could be. Looking back today, much of that research failed to substantially change the way we design buildings by focusing on apriori formal configurations. This class makes the contention that this failure comes from a lack of considerations of the potentials within fabrication knowledge. We look to the future of what building might become, given the expanded palette of personalize-able technologies available to us as architects. Students will participate in curious technological and material investigations, to discover the potentials, known and unknown, for these various technologies.
The sub-disciplines of what's drawn and what's built have been compartmentalized and disassociated as the representational tools of architecture have distanced themselves from the techniques of making. At the same time the technologies for “making” in architecture have provided us with new possibilities for reinventing how we translate into reality, the immaterial representations of architecture.


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