I taught at the Architectural Association’s Visiting School in Patras, Greece, this year. Working with Alexandros Kallegias, Stella Dourtme, Omar Ibraz, Maria Brewster and a fantastic team of keen students from the Architecture Department at the University of Patras, we constructed an 8m x 4m inflatable structure to adorn the main lecture hall.
The installation is sited in a mixed-use university building; the ground floor is a lecture hall, often used for social events, and the floor above is the architecture library. Consequently the space goes from empty to full, quiet to loud, in a matter of minutes. The students conceoved an installation which is a ‘lonely cloud’, becoming more excitable when there are more people in the hall. When it is quiet, the cloud amuses itself dreaming of people.
I taught electronics and coding in Arduino to enable this proejct to come together.
Here is a video that Maria and some of the students put together of the workshop. (Please note, not my video!)
I was very impressed with the efforts of the electronics team. Day after day, they worked together to solve problems, design and build systems and components, and learn about the world of interactive architecture late into the evening (and sometimes mornings!) – all the time whilst smiling. Well done, team!
Thank you to the AA for inviting me to teach, and thank you to the excellent teaching team and highly motivated students for helping make the project happen!
The Architectural Association has a more in-depth article on the project on their Conversations website. There is also a gallery of images here.