A New Project Begins… [MSDT Capstone]


(Bug Out Location
Tactical Shelter)

Course Description:

The MS_DT Capstone is an intensive individual and/or team-based research project that will be undertaken under direction of thecapstone faculty and intended to be related to the research of that faculty. Emphasis is placed on developing projects that result in fullscale
material prototypes, fully developed softwares, and/or architectural installations. The project will include research into innovative
aspects of applying digital technologies. This work will be executed collaboratively in a format defi ned by the scope and demands of the
project. Each participant will be responsible for producing an individual document that includes textual critical analysis, research and
project-based work undertaken throughout the course that accounts for their individual contribution to the project.

The MS_DT Capstone is an opportunity to extend the learning, tools, and research that has been initiated with the core
seminars and practicum. The capstone provides a shared and rigorous framework as a potential application for previous
experiments and the synthesis of multiple technological investigations. The intensive spring studio will focus on the role
of performance as it relates to the production of form. The studio will research, test, build, and speculate on the impact of
non-visual infl uences on the production of high performance architectural structural surfaces.

BugOut Location/Tactical Shelter (B.O.L.T.S.) makes reference to a quantity of fabric for purchase, a quick escape, and
a locking mechanism. In this instance B.O.L.T.S. can be thought of as a safe shelter or hiding place for inhabitants in the
event of a global catastrophe, protracted societal disruption or post-biological takeover. In the wake of recent natural
disasters and human confl ict and increasing speculation of existential threats from nonhuman and unnatural sources, the
studio seeks to question the position of architecture in the context of contemporary issues of survival, security and privacy.
The main objective of the research is the creation of an engineered shelter that embeds the capacity for connectivity
and isolation into a composite surface. By redirecting electromagnetic waves, surfaces can act to greatly reduce visual,
acoustic, thermal, machine vision, and other means of detection. Kevin Kelly (“What Technology Wants” Viking, 2010)
suggests that technology is a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies. The studio is
concerned with shifting the perception that only human beings have agency within responsive systems.

The B.O.L.T.S. studio will require the design of an outdoor installation exploring notions of privacy, connectedness,
boundary conditions and agency in a speculative doomsday shelter. B.O.L.T.S, investigates the capacity for a building’s
skin to combine sensing and communications technology with the capability to block electromagnetic means of detection.
Architecture traditionally provides some means for delineating or reinforcing boundary conditions. Kevin Kelley (2010)
states that in the world today there is an emerging ecology of three billion new artifi cial eyes. However, current technological
developments pervade and penetrate physical structures rewriting what is thought of as public space and privacy. The
research proposes methods for designing and building responsive surfaces incorporating strategies for evading literal and
phenomenal detection in an architectural application.

The continuous envelope that forms the walls, ceiling, and entry of the shelter should withstand pressure and resist
penetration by wind, blast-borne objects, falling debris, or virus. The research will investigate the potential and capacities
for the combination of structural materials that might include Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, Kevlar/PTFE, Rubber, or EFTE Foil
with conductive materials such as Copper Mesh, Foams, Felt or Mylar within an architectural application. The projects’
immediate impacts will help evolve techniques and methods for designing and building new forms of technologically
advanced surfaces.

The capstone studio attempts to make a signifi cant contribution to knowledge, discourse and practice by actively
experimenting with the integration of structural and conductive fi ber assemblies with sensors and actuator systems.
B.O.L.T.S. extends previous work developing new insights into expressive, embodied and responsive interaction with
electronic devices and investigates how interactive spaces can be potential carriers for meaningful experience.


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