This cluster provides the opportunity for architectural designers to participate in the formulation, manufacturing, and implementation of Responsive Polymers. The cluster will investigate methods for designing the form and behavior of multi-scalar prototypes from a molecular level through to material assemblies.
Shape-setting materials provide a new set of potentials for designing dynamics in objects and systems. This type of kinetics goes beyond the traditional scope of actuation by mechanical movements. Unlike traditional kinetic systems that rely on separate and discrete parts working together, we are developing a design discipline of smart material that can create movement through its singular chemistry and geometry. Dynamic materials also promise a break in conceptualizing movement through a model of engineering. With smart materials, the reliance on a mechanical frame and surface is dispensed so that a more direct line is established between production and application. For this workshop we will be focusing on Shape-Memory Polymer and Hydrogel. Shape-Memory Polymer can be trained into a position, baked to that form, and then manipulated into another shape. A stimulus such as heat moves the material back to the original shape. Hydrogel is a super-absorbant polymer that responds to a specific temperature range by expanding/contracting in volume up to 300%.
We will be making our own Responsive Polymers and designing full-scale Prototypes.