Maria Matheou

University of Cyprus

Faculty of Architecture

P11 | KINETIC AND INTERACTIVE ARCHITECTURE. Adaptive structural prototype

by Maria Matheou  

The investigation focuses on the analysis of kinetic and interactive architecture. It explores the concept of transformation as a structural and interactive process through architectural examples and references and the design process. The main motivation for the development of the specific research driven design was the organic, dynamic, changing and interactive capacity and ability of human existence and natural environment. Architectural project examples of kinetic and interactive architecture have been studied, aiming at the analysis and classification of the kinetic concepts. The main development was driven by the syntax of parametric design. The research tool that enables the capturing of the architectural work is not perceived in finished form, but rather as a rational association of adjustable units. If a parameter is modified, then so does the whole system. The result is based on a variety of morphological representation forms located in a frozen condition of time. The design development originated from the construction design of the structural prototype, based on the human body, and tensegrity structures. A fundamental principle that established the structural prototype, and at a later stage the interactive system, was the synergy of the skeleton and the muscular system of the human body i.e. the balance between tension (prestressed cables/muscles) and compression (studs/bones). The result was a variety of modified forms of the structural prototype according to an active control system. A static analysis and a quantitative behavior control (working model) was established for the validity of the structural prototype. The transformability of the system is defined by the conditions assigned to it. The results of the thesis could be used in the future as basic knowledge for a new syntax of architectural design on the grounds of the developed structural prototype and also could be extended in terms of parametric analysis.


Maria Matheou  is currently conducting her Ph.D. research at the Department of Architecture of the University of Cyprus, where she is an adjunct faculty member in the area of architectural technology. She holds a B.Sc. in Architecture, 2009, and a Diploma of Architect–Engineer, 2010, both degrees from the University of Cyprus. Her Diploma thesis on kinetic and interactive architecture was awarded the Prize for Excellence in Architectural Design 2010. Her research interests are in the areas of structural and architectural design, kinetic architecture, automation systems, design methods and digital tools.