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The migration of computing from dedicated appliances to physical environments, thanks to increasingly proliferating microchips and ever-expanding information networks directly implicates and empowers architecture as a transformative agent and medium. The fact that objects can now sense, think, act, and communicate with the help of embedded technology is opening up the potential for an architecture that is more closely aligned with the networked dynamics of living systems - a sentient architecture. The technological enhancement of physical matter charts a movement away from a mechanical paradigm towards a biological model. The shift manifests itself on several levels, from the micro scale in the form of new composite or 'smart' materials capable of registering and responding to external stimuli, to larger network formations between people, objects, spaces, and landscapes. Radical artifice here serves to imitate nature, enmeshing built environments in a complex web of interactions whose emergent properties approximate the resiliency of natural ecologies. It is precisely this fine attunement to life that has made these emerging technologies pertinent in dealing with a wide range of issues from the therapeutic benefits to the body, to the mediation of global and climatic energy systems. The projects featured in this book demonstrate in working prototypes architectural applications of synthetic sentience in the broad research area of ambient intelligence, focusing on: Immersive Spaces, Hybrid Living Systems, Responsive Cladding, Surface as Interface, Augmented Building Technologies, and Individuated Experience. Initial informal efforts have evolved with this team into a focused and funded university-based research. The projects establish a collaborative platform involving designers, scientists, and engineers and a new family of spatial problems where, architecture is re-charged.


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