one of the pieces on display at the Living with Adaptive Architecture exhibition

Photo credit: University of Nottingham

Loughborough academic co-curates innovative architecture exhibition

A Loughborough academic has co-curated and contributed to an interactive exhibition on adaptive architecture that features a ‘breathing’ room and footage of a University building that transforms when it detects light.

The exhibition, titled Living with Adaptive Architecture, will showcase buildings, rooms and furniture that can automatically change to better suit their surroundings and inhabitants at the Angear Visitor Centre at Lakeside Arts, Nottingham.

It opens to the public this Saturday (12 May) and comprises videos, architectural models and interactive prototypes of structures that adapt when they detect shifts in factors such as light and human behaviour.

The exhibition, which was led by Dr Holger Schnadelbach from the University of Nottingham, features contributions from a variety of artists and academics – one being Loughborough’s Dr Nils Jaeger.

Of the 16 pieces that are to be showcased as part of Living with Adaptive Architecture, Dr Jaeger, a lecturer in Digital Architecture in the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, has worked on two.

One of the pieces, Light and Dark, is a time-lapse video of Loughborough University’s Keith Green Building (home to the Architecture programmes) and its electrochromic glazing used on the windows.

Electrochromic glazing has the intelligence to change from light to dark to provide convenience for the inhabitants. For example; it can reflect back sunlight to avoid problems such as computer glare or fading furniture.

It is also an environmentally-friendly option as it reduces the amount of heat brought into the room, reducing the need to use wasteful energy for systems such as air-conditioning.

photo of the outside of the Keith Green building on campus

Keith Green Building

The second exhibition piece Dr Jaeger has worked on – in collaboration with Dr Schnadelbach, Kevin Glover and Anthony Brown – is called Breathing Space.

Breathing Space is an interactive environment that allows the inhabitants to share biofeedback information of their breathing.

So as a person breathes in, the environment will move upwards and as they breathe back out, it will move back down and it does so through the use of a wireless respiration belt.

This innovative technology has previously shown to help users regulate and slow down their breathing, producing a calming effect. 

Commenting on the exhibition, Dr Jaeger said: “The exhibition is a great way to see and experience how digital technology is changing how we live by making our buildings responsive to us and interactive.

“In curious and beautiful ways, these buildings can make us more comfortable, more energy efficient, more aware of our own behaviour and that of others; they can entertain us and even help us to relax."

The exhibition is free to attend and will remain open until Sunday 17 June at the Angear Visitor Centre.

Curator of Lakeside Arts, Neil Walker, said: “This is a very unique and exciting exhibition which allows a high degree of interaction, something we know our visitors enjoy. It brings together art, architecture and technology and showcases how the digital age can be both beautiful and functional.”

For more information about the different pieces on display at the exhibition, visit the Living with Adaptive Architecture website.