Azra Aksamija, Skylar Tibbits, J. Meejin Yoon

CAST Mellon Faculty Fellows Presentations and Active Matter Book Launch

Join the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) for a preview of new faculty work in development through Mellon Foundation grants:

FloatLab work-in-progress by J. Meejin Yoon, Professor, Architecture
As a CAST Fellow for 2017-18, Architecture Professor J. Meejin Yoon will work on her FloatLab project. Sited within the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, FloatLab is an educational platform to study and observe the transforming urban waterway. Professor Yoon will lead an interdisciplinary team of researchers, engineers, and environmental scientists to explore how cities like Philadelphia are revitalizing their riverfronts and learning from urban river ecologies.

Lightweaver work-in-progress by Azra Akšamija, Associate Professor, ACT
As a CAST Faculty Mellon Fellow for 2017, Akšamija will invent a new cultural fabric, Lightweaver. This adaptive smart textile will be created through a culturally sensitive and participatory design process, involving students from MIT and the German-Jordanian University, as well as Syrian refugees in Amman and the Zaatari camp. The project will explore how light can be integrated into textiles from artistic, technical, cultural and design perspectives, with the aim to address the emotional and cultural needs of communities affected by conflict and crisis.

Active Matter (MIT Press) book launch with introduction by editor Skylar Tibbits, Assistant Professor, Architecture and Co-director of the Self-Assembly Lab

The past few decades brought a revolution in computer software and hardware; today we are on the cusp of a materials revolution. If yesterday we programmed computers and other machines, today we program matter itself. This has created new capabilities in design, computing, and fabrication, which allow us to program proteins and bacteria, to generate self-transforming wood products and architectural details, and to create clothing from “intelligent textiles” that grow themselves. This book offers essays and sample projects from the front lines of the emerging field of active matter.

Active matter and programmable materials are at the intersection of science, art, design, and engineering, with applications in fields from biology and computer science to architecture and fashion. These essays contextualize current work and explore recent research. Sample projects, generously illustrated in color, show the range of possibilities envisioned by their makers. Contributors explore the design of active material at scales from nano to micro, kilo, and even planetary. They investigate processes of self-assembly at a microscopic level; test new materials that can sense and actuate themselves; and examine the potential of active matter in the built environment and in living and artificial systems. Active Matter is an essential guide to a field that could shape the future of design.

A book party with refreshments will follow the lectures at 8:00pm in the Long Lounge. A limited number of books with an active cover will be available.

Azra Aksamija, Skylar Tibbits, J. Meejin Yoon