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Thorite assists with pneumatically actuated responsive architecture

Thorite assists with pneumatically actuated responsive architecture

Monday 4th August 2014

Dubliner Kenneth Murphy is currently working on a one year Masters degree in Architecture and Digital Media at the University of Westminster. He has been developing an emergent-style architectural structure that focuses on bio-aesthetics for ornamentation, which responds to react with people walking past, thanks to help from Thorite.

The responsive components comprise acrylic frames and tubes connected to pneumatic actuators which inflate rubber silicone structures in response to nearby movement. The components have wireless radio transceiver modules connecting PIR sensors to Arduino, sending signals to solenoids in the pneumatic system which stop and start the compressed air flow as a passer-by walks within range.

Thorite, the UK's biggest independent distributor of pneumatic products and process systems were introduced to Kenneth by a friend and have worked closely with the 35 year old architect throughout the development process, supplying pneumatic components manufactured by Norgren and providing valuable pneumatics knowledge.

Kenneth presented his project on July 21st and will it will be exhibited at the Marylebone Campus in the University of Westminster from September 6th. Speaking about his unique approach to responsive architecture Kenneth said: "The idea of structures that move in harmony with external stimuli really appeals to me. The presentation produced some great feedback which can be incorporated into the design and has already started me thinking of additional features. I'd like to sincerely thank Thorite and especially my contact there, James Paskell, who has been of huge assistance in helping turn my concepts in practical working structures. Who knows, maybe the idea of totally static architecture may one day be a thing of the past, with buildings actively welcoming and reacting with their visitors."

Full details of all Norgren pneumatic products are available from Thorite's Technical Department on freephone 0800 034 5850. They, along with thousands of other components from other leading manufacturers can be ordered from any of the company's ten regional Sales & Service Centres in Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford, Doncaster, Huddersfield, Leeds, Rochdale, Sheffield, North Shields and Brierley Hill in the West Midlands with next day delivery.

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