7 Interesting Kinematic Projects That Can Change the Future of Architecture and Design

Kinematic architecture combines art and design to develop both functional designs and aesthetically pleasing installations.
Donovan Alexander
Hexi wall by Thibaut, Efilena BasetaThibautsldEfilena Baseta

When the world of kinematics and architecture come together some interesting things are bound to happen. Brought to life in both practical and interesting ways, the world of kinematic architecture has equally produced both mesmerizing art installations and equally practical but interesting adaptive architecture techniques. For the uninitiated, in the simplest form kinematics centers around the science of motion. 

Understanding the World of Kinematic Architecture 

Taking you back to your days as a student, kinematics is the branch of classical mechanics that describes the motion of points, objects, and systems of groups of objects, without reference to the causes of motion. In short, you could happily describe kinematics as geometry in motion.

Depending on who you ask, physics and design or art and technology come together in the world of kinematic architecture. In a world in which computational design and digital fabrication technologies are rapidly emerging, the realms of kinematic architecture are truly exciting. 

Think of kinematic architecture as architecture that moves and comes to life interacting with its surrounding environment or people. In this world, you might come across an art installation or sculpture that moves, folds, and flies while mimicking and reacting to human movement. Or you might even see a building that adapts to the weather, changing its form to keep residents, dry, warm, etc. 

Yet, rather than simply tell you today. We decided to show you. Today you are going to take a peek at some of the most interesting kinematic and adaptive architecture projects.

The Origami- Like Pavilion

Kinematic Sculpture from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP on Vimeo.

This interdisciplinary project beautifully captures how the world of kinematics and architecture can elegantly come together to create something both beautiful and equally useful. Created by the architecture firm, the project itself embodies how integrated design can be used to foster new and architectural solutions. 

The project itis something to be experienced as guests were treated to the movement of the structure, moving as if it were carefully folded piece of origami 

Hexi Wall 

7 Interesting Kinematic Projects That Can Change the Future of Architecture and Design
Source: Thibaut

Another example of geometry in motion, this mounted 60-panel project does something very cool when you interact with it. Though it may look simple the Thibaut Sld project is far from it. The hexagonal panels utilize real-time data collected from motion-tracking technology to decode and interpret your gestures and actions within close range. 

What you get with this kinematic project is a wall that cleverly explores our relationship with artifacts, space, and technology. 

The Transforming Material 

7 Interesting Kinematic Projects That Can Change the Future of Architecture and Design
Source: Efilena Baseta

Perhaps this would be something similar to what Optimus Prime might use to transform. Created by IAAC students Ramin Shambazati, Ece Tankal, and Efilena Baseta, they created a new architectural responsive project that looks like something out of a science fiction movie. Their project explores the transformations between forces, material phases, people, spaces, and functions.

The material very literally adapts and changes, transforming to fit the needs of the people or structures around it. In the near future, the building you live in could become something that easily adapts to your own personal needs. Think of it as a transforming building.

The Kinetic Parking Garage 

Speaking of transforming buildings, you should definitely add this place of places to see even if it is just a parking garage by an airport. This unique garage creates the illusion that water is rippling across its exterior. Created by American Artist Ned Kahn alongside Hassell Architecture, the effect is created by the 118,000 suspended aluminum panels interacting with the wind. 


Bewegende Architektur wanted to do something different for the human management capital group HCM ADVICE whilst creating a kinematic installation that embodied the core philosophy of their client. 

Similar to the way a great team of employees compared to just one single person can dramatically change a company, the multi-piece structure comes together in the company’s conference room both improving the lighting and acoustics of the rooms, elevating the atmosphere in the room as a single piece. 

The Sliding House

Imagine how cool it would be to have a home that evolved over time, changing as you see fit. Created by DRMM, the massive home can shed its outer wooden layers to create a unique outdoor home or epic transparent living room with the ultimate view of the night sky.

The home moves via electric motors on tracks similar to the train, giving you multiple living options. 

The Dynamic Facade System 

Created by Urbana architecture, the new Eskenazi Hospital parking structure has some impressive moves. The building itself is equipped with 7,000 angled metal panels in conjunction with an “articulated east/west color system.” Onlookers are treated to both a mesmerizing and engaging visual experience that is hard to forget. 

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