BIRD Current Research Projects

Overview

The building blocks of prosthetics come in many materials, shapes, and sizes. To create lightweight yet sturdy prosthetics, we explore 3D printing in plastic, carbon fiber, steel, and titanium. In addition, we investigate different methods of actuation such as miniature 3D printed gearboxes for fingers and twisted coil polymers. While some of these parts may look like something out of Star Wars, these are more than just computer-generated images. These prosthetics are real and they work for real people.  

Caretaker's House

Date: 1/23/18
Rendering of section and site view
Student Researchers: Pamela April Faculty Advisor: Annicia Streete

Researching a traditional Japanese Tea House was the foundation for my two designs occupying adjacent sites: a tea house for here and now as well as a caretaker’s house. Beginning with the idea of visual repetition my design concept eventually transformed into a more complex one – that of literal and phenomenal multiplicity. For both of these projects, it became essential that the occupants be able to experience visual duplications as well as experiential diversity. The presence of the natural vegetation on the caretaker site aided my design in providing a tree-house like experience on a raised platform out of sight of the public eye, while simultaneously allowing the caretaker to have a view of anything he or she desires at any time. While the two sites present different experiences, they share a definite connection through the use of proportions and regulating lines. Inversely, the caretaker can retreat to their underground abode and experience extreme privacy, after stepping down a transitional staircase connecting the lookout level and underground level. The private sector of the caretaker’s house exists on the unoccupied space of its twin tea house site directly to the south, reinforcing the separation of public and private life. 

Plan view drawing
Photograph of wood architectural model
Rendering of interior section
Site plan

BIRD Past Research Projects

Caretaker's House

Date: 1/23/18
Rendering of section and site view
Student Researchers: Pamela April Faculty Advisor: Annicia Streete

Researching a traditional Japanese Tea House was the foundation for my two designs occupying adjacent sites: a tea house for here and now as well as a caretaker’s house. Beginning with the idea of visual repetition my design concept eventually transformed into a more complex one – that of literal and phenomenal multiplicity. For both of these projects, it became essential that the occupants be able to experience visual duplications as well as experiential diversity. The presence of the natural vegetation on the caretaker site aided my design in providing a tree-house like experience on a raised platform out of sight of the public eye, while simultaneously allowing the caretaker to have a view of anything he or she desires at any time. While the two sites present different experiences, they share a definite connection through the use of proportions and regulating lines. Inversely, the caretaker can retreat to their underground abode and experience extreme privacy, after stepping down a transitional staircase connecting the lookout level and underground level. The private sector of the caretaker’s house exists on the unoccupied space of its twin tea house site directly to the south, reinforcing the separation of public and private life. 

Plan view drawing
Photograph of wood architectural model
Rendering of interior section
Site plan