Smart and active materials have obvious advantages compared to standard actuators. Conventional technologies always require a large framework, consisting of many rigid components. Active materials, however, are not mechanically complex and a separation between structure and driving actuator can be avoided. This allows the design and realization of holistic dynamic structures.
Once these materials become more reliable and available, they will eventually alter the way we think about and interact with the environment. The development of lightweight constructions and flexible skins allows for more diverse geometries, reduced transportation costs, and easier and faster construction. This shift towards a biologically inspired design that extends formal and structural adaption to a new understanding of materiality might lead to the "end of mechanics" and the start of a revolutionary transformation.
The research projects presented here aim at the notion of a soft and responsive architecture examined through algorithmic design and fabrication strategies with a specific focus on new (smart) material performance, bio-inspired structures and evolutionary computation.