Reef investigates the role emerging material technology can play in the sensitive reprogramming of architectural and public space. Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs), a category of metals that change shape according to temperature, offer the possibility of efficient, fluid movement without the mechanized motion of earlier technologies. Operating at a molecular level, this motion parallels that of plants and lower level organisms that are considered responsive but not conscious.
A field of sunflowers as they track the sun across the sky or a reef covered with sea anemones, offer images of the type of responsive motion this technology affords. Its use in practical applications has been limited to the medical and aerospace fields as well as novelty toys - the super exclusive vs. the trite. Despite the potential of this technology, there have been few serious attempts to test its possibilities at the scale of architectural environments. Reef's unique exploration of technology shifts from the biomimetic to the biokinetic while liberating and extending architectures capacity to produce a sense of willfulness.