Are Self-Assembling Shelters in Our Future?
In the wake of natural disasters, hundreds if not thousands of individuals seek immediate refuge. Since the need for shelter becomes a high demand, designers across the globe have been competing to design the most efficient and quick to assemble shelters for emergencies. While various designers have constructed homes in under a few minutes, Haresh Lavani has attempted to conquer the time required to build a shelter by designing one that can build itself.
Since a disaster can strike within moments notice, Haresh Lalvani is using biomimicry for inspiration and proposes using the principles of generative geometry to design a building that can assemble, repair, grow, and evolve on its own.
Lalvani is using concepts found in multiple disciplines such as biology, mathematics, computer science and art to create systems where matter would start encoding information, a similar process to that of stem cells and genes in the human body.
Creating a shelter that is capable of building itself is not an easy task and requires a futuristic level of technology. Lalvani has teamed up with metal fabricator, Milgo/Bufkin and the two of them have managed to convert 2D sheets of perforated metals into rigid 3D structures using a computer controlled laser cutter that perforates “variable openings” into the sheets. The spaces in the metal can be pulled apart of stretched by gravity which makes the form more flexible and completely distinct from the original material.
Since the raw material is just one thin sheet of metal, it can be easily transported and requires no tools for assembly. This makes the material very desirable for use in emergency situations.