Designing for Change: The Poetic Potential of Responsive Architecture

Mark Meagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The integration of responsive components in architecture offers the potential to enhance the experience of the building by giving expression to fleeting, changeable aspects of the environment. Responsive buildings enable a physical response to changes in the environment through specific building elements; in rare cases these responsive elements become an integral and poetic element of a culturally significant work of architecture. In this paper I examine two types of responsiveness, one which concerns the changing environment and another the activities and needs of the building's inhabitants. I look at two examples of buildings that illustrate a potential poetic role for architectural components responding to these two types of change, and propose that architects will need to acquire experience with designing for specific rates, scales and types of change before responsive elements will more frequently appear as a poetic and integral part of the building.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers of Architectural Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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