responsivedesign.de / materiability.com
Smart Materials, materials that have the ability to dynamically adjust their properties in response to changing environmental conditions, are gradually establishing themselves in the architectural world. The possibilities they encompass for the creation of adaptive spaces are manifold, highly intriguing and encouraging. However architects and designers, who are familiar with static materials or at most mechanical kinetics, are confused by their inherent dynamics that happen at an imperceptible scale. In most cases they focus primarily on the material’s visual properties or use them to enhance the performance of established systems within rigid structures.
But once we let durability and efficiency become minor aspects of the investigation new, highly intriguing and inspirational perspectives can surface. Through an anarchic, unprejudiced and non-purposeful examination of certain materials, properties that were formerly ignored can be (re)discovered and emphasised. This talk will present a number of speculative installations that emerged from the materiability research at the Chair for CAAD. The installations are composed of (self-made) smart material assemblies each highlighting different aspects and themes. Surprisingly similar to the definition of an organism, which is capable of responding to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homeostasis as a stable whole, recurring motives were “motion”, “immateriality”, “autonomy” and “ecology”.