Nano | Micro | Macro explored design research methods and techniques through the microcosm of newly emerging biologically inspired material systems and their applications in buildings. Focused on technologies and systems developed by researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the course served as an interdisciplinary platform for students to interact with material scientist and engineers from Wyss. The course introduced ideas-to-innovation processes in a hands-on, project/product focused manner. Emphasis is on the use of ‘inspirational objects’ – somewhat autonomous, artistic artifacts that balance thematic effects with promising, real-world opportunities.
Professor: Martin Bechthold
Teaching Fellow: Daekwon Park
Project Name: AdvanSeat
Group: Ana Garcia, Juhun lee, Wenting Guo, Patricia Correa AdvanSeat is chair concept utilizing an advanced technology for thermo-regulating. The study responds to a general need for an approach to improving the efficiency of local, body-centric cooling systems and reducing cooling energy consumption. Material properties play an important role in insulation and controlling heat transfer rates. PHASE CHANGING MATERIALS (PCM) are capable of storing and releasing large amounts of energy during a phase change from liquid to solid and vice versa. PCM’s are classified as latent heat storage (LHS) units. By applying PCM to a chair seat in direct proximity to the human body, the chair absorbs heat from and releases heat to the occupant while maintaining a surface temperature that meets human thermal comfort for approximately 3-6 hours. This property makes it an ideal material for chairs in spaces that are occupy only temporarily. A voronoi pattern was designed to map out a series of pockets with various heights, allowing varying amounts of PCM to be distributed according to the body heat map and the ergonomic pressure distributions from the occupant.
Project Name: MAGNO
Group: Olga Mesa, Malika Singh, Saurabh Mhatre
The study develops an interior wall system that responds to exterior environmental forces such as wind and rain. In this particular product wind activates the exterior facade to transform the interior surface through magnetic technology without envelope penetrations.
The study targets designers and artists who would like to specify interactive products for their building projects and art installations.
Project Name: Tangible Light
Group:Tiffany Chen, Mark Eichler, Jeonghyun Kim, Seungho Park
Project Name: Bio Skin
Group: Carlos Gonzalez, Lining Yao, Nicholas Jacobson, Tony Chao
Inheriting PDMS microfluidic technology from the Lewis Lab at Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, this project seeks to integrate fashion with physiological performance benefits. Thin sheet PDMS is an ideal for application to the human body due to its flexible and elastic properties, with minimal processing a water tight bond can be created. By layering sheets of PDMS with custom cut patterns we can direct the flow of water between sheets and retain the flexible elastic nature of PDMS. With this technology we can identify vascular patterns near the skin and directly heat or cool though the flow of liquids. In addition to controlling the temperature of liquids we are able to control the color and location of color in the PDMS skin. Therefore we can directly link fashion to performance creating a new concept in wearable technology.
Project Name: Fluid Form
Group: Kurt Fischer, Jonathan Grinham, J. Mansfield, Puja Patel
Ferro-Tiles is a molding agent that allows for variable pattern casting through magnetic nano-particles in fluid suspension and magnetic force density manipulation. The capacity to form intricate spike and labyrinth packing structures from ferrohydrodynamic instabilities is well recognized in popular science. We report a casting system that is able to produce periodic and non-periodic structures at micron to millimeter feature sizes by casting a variety of low viscosity materials into these patterns. Furthermore, by modulating the magnetic field density of each cast, we demonstrate repeatable and predicable pattern generation. To date, the casting system has been implemented in a variety of material including, thermoplastics, ceramics, and cements. Speculative commercial applications include, extracellular matrices, architectural tiling, graphic signage, and acoustic insulating panels.
Project Name: Flex_Marks
Group: Tristan Mcguire, Christine Min, Rachel Moranis, Catherine Soderburg
This project was using a thermo-chromatic pigment on a PDMS surface with variable density. The color of the surface would change according to exposed temperature. A warm temperature would result in a lighter color, while the vibrant color would result from being exposed to colder temperatures.
Project Name: Steam W-Ink
Group: Ling-Li Zeng, Jie Xie, Yingyi Wang, Jili Wang