The Material Processes and Systems (MaP+S) Group, led by Professor Martin Bechthold, is a research unit that takes materials as a starting point for a broad set of research investigations that involve computation, robotics, and material science. MaP+S advances the aesthetic and functional agenda of materials in the built environment. The group evolved from the previously established Design Robotics Group, also at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. MaPS looks at materiality as starting points for design research, with a special interest in robotic and computer-numerically controlled (CNC) fabrication processes as well as small-scale work on nano-materials. Much of our current work studies ceramic material systems and design robotics. MaP+S also runs the Adaptive Living Environments (ALivE) project jointly with Harvard’s REAL group and Prof. Allen Sayegh. ALivE develops novel applications for nano-scale material systems jointly with scientists from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

The MaP+S Group works on funded research and other projects and supports thesis research on the masters and the doctoral level. We work with industry partners and associations, students, faculty and staff of the GSD, as well as with other academic groups at Harvard University and beyond. It is closely affiliated with the GSD’s Laboratory for Design Technology, a platform for industry-academy interaction and collaboration.

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