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Open Access research that is exploring the innovative potential of sustainable design solutions in architecture and urban planning...

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Research activity at Architecture explores a wide variety of significant research areas within architecture and the built environment. Among these is the better exploitation of innovative construction technologies and ICT to optimise 'total building performance', as well as reduce waste and environmental impact. Sustainable architectural and urban design is an important component of this. To this end, the Cluster for Research in Design and Sustainability (CRiDS) focuses its research energies towards developing resilient responses to the social, environmental and economic challenges associated with urbanism and cities, in both the developed and developing world.

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AIR ART : Structural and Ludic Spatial Experimentation for Future Arid Environments

Suau, Cristian and Zappulla, Carmelo (2014) AIR ART : Structural and Ludic Spatial Experimentation for Future Arid Environments. In: Smart urbanism : teaching sustainability. Ljubljana : Faculty of Architecture, Ljubljana, pp. 181-189. ISBN 978-961-6823-52-4

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Abstract

AIR ART© is an experimental design studio -derived from FOGHIVE©- on fabrication of lightweight and modular inflatable fog collectors, which will regenerate ecosystems in the planet such as the desert or remote contexts to prevent fires, draught and water shortage. AIR ART© is a radical and in-situ experimental workshop (2013). We tested innovative structural capacities of inflatable structures and hydrophobic nets to increase the yield of atmospheric water collection. AIR ART© will work on visionary design able to ‘milk’ fog and transform it into water for drinking and irrigation. AIR ART© mainly focused on the experimental teaching and learning system of eco-design implemented in several design studios and compact workshops. The selected case shows how engaged students and tutors can rapidly develop key structural and ludic skills such as spatial games, pneumatic tests, environmental awareness, lifecycle thinking and collaborative research-by-doing applied to radical mock-ups and 1:1 prototypes. The design brief consisted of an intensive three-week workshop on conceptualisation, modelling and fabrication of a base model and various configurations by mounting inflatable modular frameworks.