In our technologically advanced society, there are always new innovative material that can be used in the design field such as architecture, product design, and apparel design. One thing, however, that could be a major game changer in design is materials that are programmable. Programmable materials will be the future of architecture just because of the sheer level of innovation that is required to make a programmable material in the first place, and because there are many functionalities that come with it as opposed to traditional materials.
There are many programmable materials that are listed such as programmable carbon fiber, programmable wood, and programmable textiles. The ones that will be the main focus of this post will be carbon fiber and wood, because those are the main two materials that can be applied towards architecture. The idea of these new materials were to turn a non-innovative or traditional material into an innovative material with high manipulability. With modern day architecture turning towards less traditional materials, it is very important that the new materials are highly versatile and are able to do exactly what the architect and client wants, which is not possible with traditional materials such as brick or regular wood.
“Carbon fiber is traditionally characterized by high stiffness, tensile strength, and low weight, making it advantageous for many industrial applications. We have programmed carbon fiber to transform autonomously by printing active material on fully cured flexible carbon fiber and applying heat as an activator” (Self-Assembly Lab). The ability to change traditional characteristics of materials is crucial for the evolution of architecture. Being able to program wood to bend in whichever way one pleases is a big step towards many other materials becoming programmable.
Source: “Programmable Material”