The future of materials is in constant development and after the ecology awareness, investigations and explorations have grown even more.
Designing for nature and through nature is what Chinese Designer and TED Fellow Elaine Ng Yan Ling is working on as part of her clear statement in Wired UK:
I don’t like being constrained by patterns and rules, that’s why I experiment with, rather than simply replicate nature.
Ng, is experimenting with natural materials that move and grow the same way nature does, she studies the movement of elements in nature, such as the opening and closing of a pine cone when it’s dry or humid correspondingly or the movement of leaves towards the light as a source for growing. Reminds me of the closing leaves of a touch-me-not plant upon being touched (“morivivi”, the latin in the caribbean, as in dead-alive). Has she seen it?
Now this is what she’s doing:
1.Pine cones’s natural sensors are mixed up with the mineral mix nickel-titanium which creates memory shape capabilities. The final material composition while deformed and exposed to high temperatures or electric current, turns back to its original shape. This is what she calls “Naturology”.
2.Another exploration is with wood veneer mixed up with shape-memory polymers called the “Dancing Branches”. This design is intended to exposed in a fast forwarding manner, how plants act when they are watered. Amazing!
3. This last one experiment, she is exploring a material for architectural purposes. Wood veneer in micro structural state is mixed with memory polymer once again, calling it the “Velcro Chain” and for architectural purposes.
In the next video you will find the materials in action as in the above image with the initial quote:
Naturology explores the functions of and symbiotic relationship btween shape and memory alloy/polymers and the natural sensing system of wood. The intrinsic qualities of natural and artificial materials are investigated using the hybrid tectonic system to challenge preconceived limitations and increase the potential of textiles.
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