Buildings typically provide shelter from the elements, but one
An associate professor in Toronto's Ryerson's
By integrating weather elements into her innovative designs, Klassen is adding an entirely new dimension to architecture. It's not just about aesthetics, but a building’s dynamic response to the elements. Integrating innovative textiles and building materials will also change a building's environmental footprint by changing our attitudes and energy consumption. "Scientific research has produced materials that adjust to environmental conditions in different contexts," explained Klassen.
In the future, Klassen's conceptual designs could help catapult Canada ahead in the field of sustainable, energy-conscious building design, helping architects visualize building skins that harness, transfer and release nature’s energy for better performance rather than solely relying on mechanical heating, cooling and artificial lighting.
Klassen's first set of conceptual prototypes and a feature film documenting the process will be exhibited at Design at Riverside, Cambridge Galleries, Cambridge, Ont. from Nov. 17 to Jan. 3. Highlighting the connection between architecture and the physical environment, the show, Snow, Rain, Light, Wind: Weathering Architecture, will feature a number of interactive textile installations including engravings that shimmer with accidental and ambient lighting; walls that change colour with the temperature; and fabrics that channel daylighting. The exhibition also incorporates lenticular photographs, and the showstopper, an exterior installation that covers part of the building façade across from the gallery.
"We spend so much time and energy warding off or protecting buildings against the elements that it takes an adjustment to embrace their full potential," said Klassen. "I hope that my research can act as a catalyst to extend a language that is responsive to the climate in the architectural community in
Walter Derzko; Smart Economy