The Actuated Matter workshop explored the application of smart materials and their ability to transform space into responsive, adaptive environments. We developed a speculative model for membrane structures that exhibit properties of sensitivity, resilience, and decay. By physically engaging with the behaviours of active materials, we experiment with the threshold between the electronic and mechanic, the analog and the digital. The workshop followed a do-it-yourself approach and had result in the development of sonic, luminous and moving modules.



Karmen Franinovic and Florian Wille (ZHDK Interaction Design),Manuel Kretzer (ETH’s Chair for CAAD),
Loop.pH Research Studio



This workshop was focused on workflows designed to produce structurally optimised irregular space frames with the use of robotic arm employed for the process of non standard rod bending. Students were introduced to parametric design tools, based on which they were experimenting with different methods of designing the spaceframe, focusing on the themes like variation, repetition, etc. Paralelly to that, with the use of FE analysis software and custom made digital tools- it was possible to not only to verify the structural performance of this experimentation, but also incorporate the structural analysis into the design process. By having the realtime visual representation of the force flow within a space frame answering specific loads and support conditions, multiple digital iterations and variants of spaceframes were produced

As a second step- students learned how to discretize the digital model in order to produce only 2 dimensional bent elements as structural members. Fabrication process was based on automated robotic bending of 4 mm steel rod and included overcoming material and fabrication constraints ( material elongation and springback, size limitation, etc..).
Assembly process involved testing with different joinery methods: glues, tapes, cable zip connectors and explored different ways of assembling (sequential, clustering of cells, etc) within each group.

photo documentation here