by Kaley Blackstock (MArch ’15)

The body is a thermal machine, constantly negotiating the environmental conditions to maintain internal conditions necessary for survival – Homeostasis. When we introduce the body into architecture, we abstract its operations to that of event-based activities. We remove the dynamic and extensive nature of the metabolism from the performance of the building. To conceive of architecture as the curation of energy systems in conjunction with the body’s thermoregulatory capacities is an attempt to stretch the discipline’s use of thermodynamics in architectural design.

However, unlike conventional approaches to thermodynamics that function as a new form of the site-specificity, the goal of the project is to propose a universal model that highlights the dynamic nature of the body and the building, placing exergy at the core. Imagine a jack: flip it, rotate it, re-anchor it. A climate-type per side. Floors become walls. Chimneys become caves. Spaces once conducive to exhaust high internal loads become insular thermal bunkers. The users re-orient, the program shifts. A thermodynamic tumbler.

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