• Parallaxical identities: Architectural semantics of contemporary arts institutions and the curation of cultural identity

      Tracada, Eleni; D'Arcy-Reed, Louis (University of Derby, 2019-09-19)
      The research project interrogates the identity forming principles beneath contemporary arts museum architecture across physical and psychoanalytical dimensions. In identifying a metaphysical distance, or barrier, between the unconscious of the cultural architectural intervention and the identity within the cities’ fabric, the state of a parallaxical identity manifests itself. The parallaxical identity, developed from Slavoj Žižek’s parallax gap in psychoanalysis, elicits the presentation of ego-ideal, ideal-ego, and superego of architectural interventions seen as regenerative for culture, the city and its communities. Developing the parallax within architecture allows the thesis to include a rigorous interrogation of theory across disciplines of psychoanalysis, architecture, contemporary art and museology, whilst also remediating the position of architectural practice beyond its conventional boundaries and rhetoric. Adopting a mixed methodology across theoretical and practical disciplines, the thesis reveals unconscious interpretations and embodied analyses through a weaving of para-architectural methods including, photography, questionnaires, exploratory installations, written prose, and imagined cultural visualisations. Three major arts institutions act as case study analysands for psychoanalytical observation and diagnosis to take place, informing the resulting framework for observing parallaxical identities, whilst also producing recommendations for the future of the cultural institution of the museum/gallery. Alongside the thesis’ position as a critical commentary, a supplementary PhD exhibition proposal centered on Parallaxical Identities questions the role of architecture as a discipline that necessitates para-architectural and psychoanalytic methodologies, whilst also presenting new artistic works in response to the thesis to reveal to audiences’ the haptic and hidden structures within architecture and the ‘expected or unexpected’ parallaxical interventions of place.
    • Shape grammar based adaptive building envelopes: Towards a novel climate responsive facade systems for sustainable architectural design in Vietnam.

      Ceranic, Boris; Tracada, Eleni; Nguyen, Ngoc Son Tung (University of Derby, 2020-01-14)
      The concept of a dynamic building enclosure is a relatively novel and unexplored area in sustainable architectural design and engineering and as such, could be considered a new paradigm. These façade systems, kinetic and adaptive in their nature, can provide opportunities for significant reductions in building energy use and CO2 emissions, whilst at the same time having a positive impact on the quality of the indoor environment. Current research in this area reports on a growing increase in the application of new generative design approaches and computational techniques to assist the design of adaptable kinetic systems and to help quantify their relationships between the building envelope and the environment. In this research, a novel application of shape grammar for the design of kinetic façade shading systems has been developed, based upon a generative design approach that controls the creation of complex shape composites, starting from a set of initial shapes and pre-defined rules of their composition. Shape grammars provide an interesting generative design archetype in which a set of shape rules can be recursively applied to create a language of designs, with the rules themselves becoming descriptors of such generated designs. The research is inspired by traditional patterns and ornaments in Vietnam, seen as an important symbol of its cultural heritage, especially in the era of globalisation where many developing countries, including Vietnam, are experiencing substantial modernist transformations in their cities. Those are often perceived as a cause of the loss of both visual and historical connections with indigenous architectural origins and traditions. This research hence investigates how these aspects of spatial culture could be interpreted and used in designing of novel façade shading systems that draw their inspiration from Vietnamese vernacular styles and cultural identity. At the same time, they also have to satisfy modern building performance demands, such as a reduction in energy consumption and enhanced indoor comfort. This led to the exploration of a creative form-finding for different building façade shading configurations, the performance of which was tested via simulation and evaluation of indoor daylight levels and corresponding heating and cooling loads. The developed façade structures are intended to adapt real-time, via responding to both results of an undertaken simulation and data-regulation protocols responsible for sensing and processing building performance data. To this extent, a strategy for BIM integrated sustainable design analysis (SDA) has also been deliberated, as a framework for exploring the integration of building management systems (BMS) into smart building environments (SBEs). Finally, the research reports on the findings of a prototype system development and its testing, allowing continuous evaluation of multiple solutions and presenting an opportunity for further improvement via multi-objective optimisation, which would be very difficult to do, if not impossible, with conventional design methods.