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Final outcome of ARC8016 Emergent Digital Design Methods

Solar Fern

I have unfortunately neglected to keep the updates of this module posted however over the past few weeks of semester 1 I was able to fabricate a prototype of the Solar Fern.
You can see some pictures below and read about it in this report:

Tracking light with an Arduino

Solar Fern Arduino Layout

I’ve been looking into the creation of my Solar Fern Prototype for the ARC8016 module.
Throught he use of Light Dependant Resistors and an Arduino I can control servos that would be utilised for the movement of the arms of the Fern.

Below is a picture of the arduinp breadboard layout:

This would be used alongside the following code:


#include <Servo.h> // include Servo library

Servo horizontal; // horizontal servo
int servoh = 90;     // stand horizontal servo

Servo vertical;   // vertical servo
int servov = 90;     // stand vertical servo

// LDR pin connections
//  name  = analogpin;
int ldrlt = 0; //LDR top left
int ldrrt = 1; //LDR top rigt
int ldrld = 2; //LDR down left
int ldrrd = 3; //ldr down rigt

void setup()
// servo connections
// name.attacht(pin);

void loop()
int lt = analogRead(ldrlt); // top left
int rt = analogRead(ldrrt); // top right
int ld = analogRead(ldrld); // down left
int rd = analogRead(ldrrd); // down rigt

int dtime = analogRead(4)/20; // read potentiometers
int tol = analogRead(5)/4;

int avt = (lt + rt) / 2; // average value top
int avd = (ld + rd) / 2; // average value down
int avl = (lt + ld) / 2; // average value left
int avr = (rt + rd) / 2; // average value right

int dvert = avt – avd; // check the diffirence of up and down
int dhoriz = avl – avr;// check the diffirence og left and rigt

if (-1*tol > dvert || dvert > tol) // check if the diffirence is in the tolerance else change vertical angle
if (avt > avd)
servov = ++servov;
if (servov > 180)
servov = 180;
else if (avt < avd)
servov= –servov;
if (servov < 0)
servov = 0;

if (-1*tol > dhoriz || dhoriz > tol) // check if the diffirence is in the tolerance else change horizontal angle
if (avl > avr)
servoh = –servoh;
if (servoh < 0)
servoh = 0;
else if (avl < avr)
servoh = ++servoh;
if (servoh > 180)
servoh = 180;
else if (avl = avr)
// nothing

ARC8016 Midpoint

Solar Fern

Last week we presented our ideas to the class for the Emergent Digital Design Methods module.
I have been experimenting with the Grasshopper Plugin for Rhino in the run up to the presentation to create a working prototype of my idea.

I chose the Material Systems and Environment Brief.

The Brief is concerned with the new possibilities that architecture can bring through the engagement with material and environmental ystems. Where the theme pursues second-order cybernetic material systems which have the ability to modify their goals based on environmental actions.

After, looking into different areas of enivoronmental issues with Meteor where we decided to look at the problems within the city of Chongqing, where rapid urbanisation has taken place as governmental schemes are coping with the influx of farmers flocking to the city. This increase in population has led to high density city areas with a large percentage of low income residents; The results of this process leads to a low standard of living, culminating the need to save money to cut expenditure.
A major consequence of this in terms of daily use, cheap electric water heaters are bought due to major pricing advantages than other appliances that utilise other power and heating sources.

This use of electir water heaters has a dramatic effect on the environment due to Chongqing’s electricity mainly being produced by coal.
The aim of the brief was to create a city retrofit solution that would look at changing these effects.

My idea was to create biomimetically inspired multi axis solar tracker.
By looking at the shape of a fern I set out to create a solar tracker that could utilise the full potential of the suns energy from sunrise to sunset, whilst being a retrofittable solution and an architectural statement.

The final Grasshopper Definition and model, that was presented.


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