IE University professors create a spatial protocol algorithm for emergency situations
"Adapta is a good example of how the designer's mind, technology and sense of responsibility can be employed in challenging times," Dean Martha Thorne.
Ruxandra Iancu and Alessandro Mattoccia, founders of 50SuperReal, and who teach on the Bachelor in Design and Bachelor in Architectural Studies of IE University, have-together with fellow co founder Rodrigo Rubio-created Adapta, a spatial protocol algorithm that generates designs for emergency constructions in a matter of seconds and that can be applied anywhere in the world, reducing the overheads of the human design process to almost zero.
“In a single hour, plans can be drafted for emergency constructions on any continent, all based on the same idea but adapted to each context and needs,” explains Professor Iancu. Adapta uses a set of dimensional relationships in interior layouts to create a functional space. Based on the amount of people that are expected to use a facility, the program automatically calculates the number of bathrooms, laboratories, storage areas, treatment units, and other infrastructure. The facility is also fitted with its own fabrication unit, allowing hospital staff to use 3D printers to make scarce equipment or parts.
“We have considered both patient comfort and the protection and care of medical professionals. During recent crises, we have seen that our countries’ medical teams are working extremely demanding shifts. In some cases, our medical professionals even have to live for long periods of time inside the hospital. Our proposal, therefore, includes rest pods and comfort rooms for hospital staff, separated from patient areas by decontamination units,” explains Professor Iancu.
“Our built environment can no longer be a static concept. It needs to be able to respond swiftly.”
The project invites reflection on how disciplines such as design can work on solutions to crises such as the current Covid-19 outbreak when rapid and coordinated responses are needed that interconnect with different industries. Iancu explains: “Our built environment can no longer be a static concept. It needs to be able to respond swiftly,” adding: “Why is it that with an ever-growing global population and freemovement of people and goods, we do not have spatial protocols in place in case of a pandemic, a climate catastrophe, or a rapid and unforeseen displacement of a very large group of people?”
For more about the project, please check here.