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    Full-text · Conference Paper · Jul 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The paper offers a design perspective on protocell applications and presents original research that characterizes the life-like qualities of the Bütschli dynamic droplet system, as a particular "species" of protocell. Specific focus is given to the possibility of protocell species becoming a technical platform for designing and engineering life-like solutions to address design challenges. An alternative framing of the protocell, based on process philosophy, sheds light on its capabilities as a technology that can deal with probability and whose ontology is consistent with complexity, nonlinear dynamics and the flow of energy and matter. However, the proposed technical systems do not yet formally exist as products or mature technologies. Their potential applications are therefore experimentally examined within a design context as architectural "projects"-an established way of considering proposals that have not yet been realized, like an extended hypothesis. Exemplary design-led projects are introduced, such as The Hylozoic Ground and Future Venice, which aim to "discover", rather than "solve", challenges to examine a set of possibilities that have not yet been resolved. The value of such exploration in design practice is in opening up a set of potential directions for further assessment before complex challenges are procedurally implemented.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014
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    ABSTRACT: In order to achieve outdoor thermal comfort it is necessary to understand the interactions between the prevailing climate, the urban form and roughness. The near surface boundary layer is directly influenced by local irradiative and convective exchange processes due to the presence of a variety of different surfaces, sheltering elements and obstacles to air flow leading to distinctive micro-scale climates. The paper presents a micro-scale numerical model for an outdoor urban form for a hot summer’s day in Al-Muizz street located at the Islamic quarter of Cairo, where a few studies have attempted to study these conditions in vernacular settings in hot arid areas where the continuously evolving urban patterns and shaded environments were perceived to produce more pedestrian friendly outdoor environments. In situ measurements are used to validate the ENVI-met results which showed an overall agreement with the observed ones, representing adequate mean radiant temperature (Tmrt) which is one of the most important meteorological parameters governing human energy balance and has therefore a strong influence on thermal sensation of the pedestrians using the open public spaces and generating a micro-climatic map as an initial step in addressing the urgent need for a modelling platform accessible to urban designers, architects, and decision makers towards sustainable urban forms.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014
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