Project “In between” is dealing with the difference in natural and built environment and with the possibility of bringing some qualities of nature into towns.
Various scientific research have pointed out that stay in nature have positive impacts at physical as well as mental health of humans. ‘Nature is fuel for the soul,’ says Richard Ryan, lead author and a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. His research finds that being outside in nature for just 20 minutes in a day is enough to significantly boost vitality levels. It is critical having it more as a part of our lives if we live and work in built environments.
Analysis of natural and built environment defined demanded goal of the project. The first part is to propose a new approach to architectural space. While surroundings in towns is mostly uniform, perpendicular, polluted, with artificial borders restricting freedom, the new structure growing in a town should have attributes found in nature. The most important for the project became growth, constant change and responsiveness. Shapes are biomorphic where boundaries are more passing-zones as strictly set lines. It is creating a space, where everyone can choose his own way, spend free time in inspirational and stimulating environment and gain some positive energy. Structure is assembled from waste material produced in the town which reduces pollution.
‘In between’ is based on technology, where a group of robots is collecting a potential building material (e.g. gravel, fallen plaster, pieces of biological shorts, dust particles etc.) within the town and transporting it to the site. Another group of robots is assembling the material to the structure.
There is a system of rules for assembling robots to follow. Starting with the random grid of points, they make connections by mutual distance and start to build the structure. Walker might disturb the layout of leading points by trample them under his feet, breaking off a part of it or intentionally model it. A part of the structure falls into pieces, which are subsequently transmitted and added to the structure at different place. Therefore, the structure is responsive, changes in the time and is never the same again. Agent system is used to simulated humans behavior. Process was inspired by a man hewing his way in a jungle, which grows over after some time.
The contribution of the project is building up a new integrated system within the town. The benefit for the town is reduction of pollution and new form of public space that might work as an equivalent of nature for residents who are looking for a stimulating environment and want to escape from the town for a while. It increases the town efficiency in material use and shows alternative approach to waste.