Work begins on the Inside-Out House for Solar Decathlon Europe 2014

By Jonathan Knowles | Dec 22, 2012

“…Team Inside Out has been selected among the twenty teams that are going to compete for the next edition in Versailles. M. Alain Maugard, President of the Scientific Committee, and M. Alain Lecomte, President of the Steering Committee, as well as all SDE 2014 Organization members, are happy to congratulate you for this success.”
–Jérôme MAT and Prof. Pascal Rollet

With our acceptance into the 2014 Solar Decathlon, we look forward to executing our proposal over the coming year:

The act of weaving can create a system of distinctive parts bound together in a symbiotic network. Each component both benefits and is beneficial to the others. Weaving creates interplay as a means to transform. This strategy forms the central research focus for the collaborative team of Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt (FHE). Our specializations in art and technology will come together to create a next-generation home derived from and inspired by the various applications of weaving. Through our research, we will thread the transformative influence of a passive house into culture, community and home. Based on operations of folding, twisting and turning, this process will serve the principles of modularization and aggregation to create sustainable benefits at an urban scale. Furthermore, since textiles allow for a lightweight structure, affordable transport and quick assembly, the house will have the capacity to readily provide shelter in global emergencies. Originally organized by students from Brown Engineering, FHE Architecture and RISD Architecture, the team will quickly expand to include students of economics, graphic design, textile design, furniture design, computer science, digital media, and the natural sciences. The strength of our proposal is based on our cross-disciplinary approach. We will design and build a prototype house that will demonstrate a new, alternative, and improved way of living.

“Created in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Solar Decathlon is an international competition open to universities and institutions of higher education worldwide, giving them an opportunity to compete in meeting a challenge: ‘Design and build a solar house that is energy independent’.

It is held biennially in the United States, in odd-numbered years, at the prestigious National Mall in Washington, D.C. Since 2010, the Solar Decathlon has also been organized in Europe in even-numbered years.

Each new competition is an opportunity to refine the requirements that the projects must meet.

The scientific goal of the Solar Decathlon is to improve the transmission of knowledge, research work and experimentation in the field of renewable energy, and notably solar energy.” —History | Solar decathlon

solar decathlon

Techstyle Haus Update

By Architecture Department | Sep 23, 2015

Techstyle Haus opened to the public on April 24th at the Domaine de Boisbuchet, an educational center for artists, designers and architects in Lessac, France. President Rosanne Somerson, Provost Pradeep Sharma, and Associate Professor of Architecture Jonathan Knowles, who led the project, were among the RISD representatives attending the celebration. Read more on The Techstyle Haus project continue reading…

Winter Session Studio Extends Techstyle Haus Research Into Urban Context

By Jonathan Knowles | Jan 20, 2015

This advanced studio will work from research developed over the past two years for the RISD/ BROWN/ FHE entry into the 2014 Solar Decathlon. The prototype house was designed for the Domaine de Boisbuchet and was exhibited in Versailles, France. We will first analyze and then draw lessons from the Techstyle Haus project to provide continue reading…

Professor Knowles Advises 2015 Solar Decathlon Team

By Architecture Department | Jan 09, 2015

Jonathan Knowles, Techstyle Haus faculty advisor, recently visited the New York City College of Technology Solar Decathlon team. The NYCCT project, DURA Home, has been selected for the 2015 solar decathlon and they wanted to hear about his experience as well as talk about management, funding and strategy for their competition. Professor Knowles also spoke continue reading…

Techstyle Haus in the News

By Carl Lostritto | Jul 09, 2014

With the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 underway, Techstyle Haus is generating attention in the press. The New York Times story, A House That Sips Energy, calls out the house’s “…voluptuous skin of high-performance fabric.” Metropolis reports, “The house gets its Bauhaus-inflected name from the high-performance textile shell, which is stretched over the structure, and then continue reading…

Solar Decathlon Pulls It Together

By Michael Clouse | May 06, 2014

Solar Decathlon team has continued construction and finalizing the design these last few months and installed the textiles, the central element of the design, for Techstyle Haus this past week. The exterior Sheerfill membrane went up with the help of professionals from Birdair and Saint-Gobain. Typically used in sports stadiums and airports, this high-performance fabric continue reading…

Solar Decathlon Team Returns to Europe

By Jonathan Knowles | Nov 21, 2013

Nine members of team Inside Out and professor Jonathan Knowles traveled to France and Germany to attend the second Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE) workshop and to meet with sponsors about their project, Techstyle Haus. The team visited the headquarters of the Viessmann Group in Allendorf, Germany to consult with the corporation’s CFO and chief engineers about continue reading… launches

By Jonathan Knowles | Jul 09, 2013 documents the RISD, Brown University and University of Applied Sciences Erfurt collaboration on our joint entry to the 2014 Solar Decathlon competition. Techstyle House is also on Facebook and Twitter. Please consider supporting us via Kickstarter as we work towards our August 11th goal.

Solar Decathlon Corporate Workshop in Erfurt

By Jonathan Knowles | Mar 29, 2013

On Tuesday, March 26th, the RISD/Brown/Erfurt Solar Decathlon team invited energy and construction industry representatives to a meeting at the Fachhochschul in Germany to discuss sponsorship for the 2014 competition in Versailles, France. In the morning, the students presented their design process in German and English, and introduced the three institutions they represent. After a continue reading…

Solar decathlon: Wintersession in Germany

By Jonathan Knowles | Feb 18, 2013

We traveled to Erfurt, Germany to begin work on the Solar Decathlon Competition during this years wintersession. Our 3-way partnership (Brown, RISD and FHE) was selected last December to compete against 20 other international schools in the Solar Decathlon on June 2014 in Versailles, France.  During the trip, we worked with our german colleagues for continue reading…

Spring 2017 Events

  • February 23, 6:30 PM Brett Schneider, Guy Nordenson and Associates & RISD Architecture
  • March 2, 6:30 PM at RISD Auditorium Petra Blaisse, Inside Outside, Hosted with INTAR, Textiles, RISD Museum
  • February 27, 6:30 PM Jeanette Kuo, Karamuk*Kuo
  • March 13, 6:30 PM Allan Wexler, Allan Wexler Studio, Hosted with ID
  • March 16, 6:30 PM Jarrett Walker, Jarrett Walker + Associates
  • April 3, 6:30 PM Kunle Adeyemi, NLÉ, Yoder Lecture
  • April 24, 6:30 PM Nader & Katie Faulkner, NADAAA, Shoemaker Lecture
  • May 11, 6:30 PM Shumi Bose, Central Saint Martins & Architectural Association

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