clothing that you can wear whatever the weather is no longer a sci-fi dream. researchers at the MIT self-assembly lab have developed a smart material that works just like the pores on human skin, expanding and contracting depending on the surrounding temperature. the porous material called ‘active auxetic’ is designed to tighten in cold weather, providing increased insulation, and unfurl in warm weather to allow air circulation.

mit smart material adapts to tempterature designboom 02-13-2017
the MIT programmable material has pores than can expand and contract depending on the weather

 

 

at MIT’s self-assembly lab, the computational architect skylar tibbits and his team have long been working to develop programmable materials like this one. these intellegent materials are defined as materials that can change shape according to instructions that are essentially programmed into them. tibbits’ team are already programming existing materials such as wood, leather, and carbon fiber, along with inventing new fabrics. the process involves taking the natural structure of a material, re-structuring it in a particular way, and then activating it with an energy source such as temperature, moisture, light or pressure.  

mit smart material adapts to tempterature designboom 02-13-2017
the pores become tighter for increased insulation

 

 

the MIT group has previously developed a self-assembling shoe that goes from a flat sheet into a fully shaped shoe, and flat-pack coffee table that pops into shape after it has been unboxed. with tibbits and his team at the forefront of such research, programmable materials like this latest develpment could be the next step in smart fashion, being used by designers to create ‘weather-proof’ clothing. 

mit smart material adapts to tempterature designboom 02-13-2017
pores expand to let a breeze circulate in hot weather
mit smart material adapts to tempterature designboom 02-13-2017
‘programming’ a material involves restructing it and activating it with an energy source
mit smart material adapts to tempterature designboom 02-13-2017
the ‘resting point’ of MIT’s smart material
mit smart material adapts to tempterature designboom 02-13-2017
programmable materials actively respond to outside stimulus, in this case, temperature
mit smart material adapts to tempterature designboom 02-13-2017
the materials require no human or robot interaction of any kind
mit smart material adapts to tempterature designboom 02-13-2017
when expanded to full capacity, the pores allow air to circulate
mit smart material adapts to tempterature designboom 02-13-2017
a change in temperature is the energy source required to make the material contract 

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