The Silk Pavilion explores the relationship between digital and biological fabrication on product and architectural scales.
The primary structure was created of 26 polygonal panels made of silk threads laid down by a CNC (Computer-Numerically Controlled) machine. Inspired by the silkworm’s ability to generate a 3D cocoon out of a single multi-property silk thread (1km in length), the overall geometry of the pavilion was created using an algorithm that assigns a single continuous thread across patches providing various degrees of density.
Overall density variation was informed by the silkworm itself deployed as a biological “printer” in the creation of a secondary structure. A swarm of 6,500 silkworms was positioned at the bottom rim of the scaffold spinning flat non-woven silk patches as they locally reinforced the gaps across CNC-deposited silk fibers. Following their pupation stage the silkworms were removed. Resulting moths can produce 1.5 million eggs with the potential of constructing up to 250 additional pavilions.
Affected by spatial and environmental conditions including geometrical density as well as variation in natural light and heat, the silkworms were found to migrate to darker and denser areas. Desired light effects informed variations in material organization across the surface area of the structure. A season-specific sun path diagram mapping solar trajectories in space dictated the location, size and density of apertures within the structure in order to lock-in rays of natural light entering the pavilion from South and East elevations. The central oculus is located against the East elevation and may be used as a sun-clock.
Parallel basic research explored the use of silkworms as entities that can “compute” material organization based on external performance criteria. Specifically, we explored the formation of non-woven fiber structures generated by the silkworms as a computational schema for determining shape and material optimization of fiber-based surface structures.
Research and Design by the Mediated Matter Research Group at the MIT Media Lab in collaboration with Prof. Fiorenzo Omenetto (TUFTS University) and Dr. James Weaver (WYSS Institute, Harvard University). Mediated Matter researchers include Markus Kayser, Jared Laucks, Carlos David Gonzalez Uribe, Jorge Duro-Royo and Neri Oxman (Director).
Created via fusing aspects of sculptural form, spatial sound, and interactive methods, HIVE is an art installation that explores the relationship between sound, space, body, and communication. HIVE was produced in 2016 by Sölen Kiratli and Akshay Cadambi and debuted in Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science, and Technology (SBCAST) in December of 2016. More info on solenk.net/HIVE.php
The SciFi Design Intelligence Workshop is a compelling, unique approach to innovation that we use at Singularity University. This workshop provides teams with an informed vision for future products, services, and experiences in a novel format. In this workshop, we begin with the end in mind and define a variety of compelling futures, based on everything we know about accelerating technologies and trends and how they could shape your (future) industry.
We convene creative collaborators like science fiction writers, illustrators, designers, technologists, and futurists to create new ideas and bring new worlds to life where these ideas will, should, or may exist. Then we work backward to develop roadmaps for new products, services, and business models.
A collaboration between Self-Assembly Lab + Christophe Guberan + Steelcase
In collaboration with Steelcase, we are presenting a new experimental process called Rapid Liquid Printing, a breakthrough 3D printing technology. Rapid Liquid Printing physically draws in 3D space within a gel suspension, and enables the creation of large scale, customized products made of real-world materials. Compared with other techniques we believe this is the first development to combine industrial materials with extremely fast print speeds in a precisely controlled process to yield large-scale products.
3D printing hasn’t taken off as a mainstream manufacturing process for three main reasons: 1) it’s too slow compared to conventional processes like injection molding, casting, milling, etc. 2) it’s limited by scale – although it’s good for creating small components, it’s not possible to produce large scale objects 3) the materials are typically low-quality compared to industrial materials. Rapid Liquid Printing addresses all of these limitations: it is incredibly fast (producing structures in a matter of minutes), designed for large scale products (you can print an entire piece of furniture) and uses real-world, industrial-grade materials.
Self-Assembly Lab Team:
Kate Hajash, Bjorn Sparrman, Mattis Koh, Schendy Kernizan, Jared Laucks & Skylar Tibbits
In collaboration with Christophe Guberan
Yuka Hiyoshi, Rob Poel, Markus McKenna, Paul Noll, Sharon Tracy, Edward Vander Bilt, Chris Norman & Charlie Forslund
Hyper-Reality presents a provocative and kaleidoscopic new vision of the future, where physical and virtual realities have merged, and the city is saturated in media. If you are interested in supporting the project, sponsoring the next work or would like to find out more, please send a hello to firstname.lastname@example.org