ShapeShift is an experiment in future possibilities of architectural materialization. This project explores the potential application of electro-active polymer (EAP) at an architectural scale. EAP offers a new relationship to built space through its unique combination of qualities. It is an ultra-lightweight, flexible material with the ability to change shape without the need for mechanical actuators. As a collaboration between the chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design (ETHZ) and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA), ShapeShift bridges gaps between advanced techniques in architectural design/fabrication and material science as well as pushing academic research towards real world applications.
We dropped zinc metal in silver nitrate (AgNO3), copper sulfate (CuSO4), and lead nitrate (Pb(NO3)2) solutions, and recorded the emergence of silver, copper, and lead metals with beautiful structure. To preserve the fragile structure of lead metal, we also added sodium silicate (Na2SiO3) and acetic acid (CH3COOH) to the solution to make it gelatinize.
Many chemical reactions generate gases. In solution, gases escape as bubbles. Here we show 4 bubbling reactions. The last one is the electrolysis of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) aqueous solution. It is obvious that the reaction generated more hydrogen (H2) at the cathode than oxygen (O2) at the anode. In fact, the ideal volume ratio is H2 : O2 = 2 : 1.