PROJECT | BIOMEMETIC ADAPTATION OF THE MORNING GLORY
PLACE | LONDON/UK
DATE | 2011
COLLABORATORS | JACOB BEK + ALKI KARAKOSTA + NICOLETTA PLOUMENI
MATERIALS | ALUMINUM STRUCTURE+FABRIC TISSUE
To understand the anatomy of the morning glory, it is important to comprehend its growth mechanism and geometry. Different parts of the flower activate at different times, and affect other portions of the flower, at influential points throughout the life of the flower.
The sepal, receptacle, and peduncle are most important to the flower’s stability, growth, and transfer of cells. While these areas are integral to the structure of the plant, we are most interested in looking at and analyzing the geometry and relationship between the
gusset and the petal. The gusset receives information and energy flow from the lower parts of flower, and responds by forcing the petals to open.
The circadian clock and the photo receptors are the two mechanisms of the flower that regulate most of the plant’s processes. The phase of the circadian clock, in relation with its exposure to light, defines the time of the flower’s opening. The fact that the Morning Glory is characterized as photonastic clearly suggests that light can delay or accelerate the exact time that the flower is going to bloom as well as the duration of the blossom. Photo receptors located along the stem and within the leaves activate certain proteins. These proteins travel through the stem to the receptacle. The receptacle, in turn, activates the gussets movement.
Last but not least, the architectural application of the mechanism came as a conclusion of the previous analysis. By replicating the model on a surface, and filling the gaps with an elastic material, we achieve pattern differentiation and sun control. The mechanism in combination with the material properties, achieve multiple possibilities of shading surfaces. Additionally, by varying the initial situation of the models (some of them are closed as the initial stage while other are open) we can achieve local differentiation. Further explorations will include testing of the models on curved surfaces and the effect of having the mechanisms activated to produce different patterns according to local conditions.