May 26, 2016

Architect Highlights Progress of Past R+D Award Winners

Once customized circuit boards could be produced in low volume, KieranTimberlake was able to advance the development of Pointelist, a high-density sensor network.

Pointelist, KieranTimberlake's wireless sensor network, was recently featured in Architect magazine. The article, written by Wanda Lau, is part of a series following up on past winners of the magazine's R+D Awards, which recognize research, materials, and technologies that have advanced the field of architecture.

First honored with an R+D Award in 2013 when Pointelist was in its early development phase, the tool is currently nearing commercial release. After successful experiments in a number of locations including the firm's own studio and Tulane University's Richardson Memorial Hall, a limited number of free Pointelist kits are now being offered to outside users for beta testing.  
The article also highlighted the role Pointelist played in the firm's second R+D Award: a green roof vegetative study. This study has led to a deeper understanding of how a green roof's ecology can both affect and be affected by its host building. Since 2013, firm designers have begun to incorporate Pointelist sensors into green roof research, including ongoing studies at Philadelphia's soon-to-be-renovated LOVE Park. There, sensors are being used to analyze everything from how people choose where to sit, where to take pictures, and how and when they use the park. As Lau writes, "KieranTimberlake's methodologies developed through the vegetative roof study and its abilities enabled by Pointelist have allowed the firm to look at the environment more broadly."

KieranTimberlake Offers a New Tool for Architects Wanting an In on IoT
by Wanda Lau

It's hard to escape the Internet of Things (IoT). With sensors embedded in everything from the light fixtures above our heads to the fashion accessories we wear, the amount of data one can gather on the world in which we live is astounding. As trained observers of human interactions with the natural and built environments, architects stand to benefit from the information gathered by IoT—if they can access the technology. 
Leading the way is KieranTimberlake, a Philadelphia-based firm that won two ARCHITECT R+D Awards in 2013 for seemingly disparate projects: the development of its self-made, state-of-the-art wireless sensor network, and for the intensive fieldwork behind its post-occupancy green roof vegetative study. Both initiatives sought to “generate highly granular data” and “allow architects to access the means by which we can characterize phenomenon in order to move design forward,” says KieranTimberlake partner Billie Faircloth, AIA.

Continue reading