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Design as Scholarship
Smart Geometries for Smart Materials
Doris Sung
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Smart materials, embedded with intelligent geometries by way of current computational and fabrication technologies, can respond to changes in the environment without the need for energy or controls. Thermobimetal, a smart material that curls when heated, can automatically animate a building’s surface to shade, ventilate, self-assemble, strengthen, and change shape. Besides altering the molecular makeup of the laminated metal, its behavior can be optimized, enhanced, and even negated depending on its shape. Within the purview of architects’ capabilities, the addition of smart materials will challenge designers to embrace the sciences in a whole new way.

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