ThermalKinetics is one of the projects from the one-week design charette with Frank Barkow and Barkow Leibinger at USC. Teams within the charette were to extensively explore building skins in all its functions and components, ie. material, performance, and structure.
Designed with the typology of a kinetic frame in mind for the desert climate in Arizona, ThermoKinetics is able to track the sun according to temperature, therefore collecting solar energy and variable shading. Based on the temperature of the environment, pentane within the pistons expands and contracts, causing the entire module to change states. During cooler times of the day, the modules contract to allow maximum sunlight into the building. Vice versa, the modules expand and create maximum shading during warmer times of the day. Throughout the entire day, the smooth movement of the panels will track the sun and allow for maximum solar energy collection.
Status: School Project
Location: Arizona, US