Through evolution, animals and plants develop strategies to survive and thrive in their own environments. Survival mechanisms such as thermoregulation, water economy, and energy metabolism, are common to all organisms. Physiology, since the famed French scientist Claude Bernard, has become the study of how such mechanisms manifest under isolated and controlled conditions. Ecophysiology, on the other hand, pursues the studies in the subject’s own environment and allow for a much more natural observation and analysis of the organisms’ responses to the dynamics of resource availability and diurnal and seasonal switches. Architecture, often conceptualized as the third skin, can learn much from such physiological approach, particularly in the face of global climate change and energy crisis. Unlike conventional architectural practice, organisms do not deal with heliotropism separately from thermoregulation, nor would do they handle water economy separately from energy conservation and metabolism. To maintain a stable internal environment, organisms must rely on everything at their disposal as part of their survival strategy. Therefore, ecophysiological architecture posits the same fundamental basis and asks a simple question: “what if buildings have to develop heating, cooling, lighting, daylighting, and ventilation strategies as part of its morphology?”
The following are selected works from a studio investigation that attempts to reapply these highly coupled physiological systems with the building’s mechanical and morphological system to imbue a behavioral solution to address the ecology of our built environment.
Joe Hines | Active Thermoregulation
Shima Miabadi | Counter Current Heat Exchange
Nicholas Stipinovich | Wind Responsive Envelope
Lauren Thomsen | A Photoperiodic Envelope
Adam Petela | Adaptive Networking