Thinking/Creating with Active Materials

Fluid Morphologies

  ABSTRACT This paper describes Hydroactive Polymers (HAPs), a novel way of combining shape-changing Electroactive Polymers (EAPs) and water for potential design and architectural explorations. We present a number of experiments together with the Fluid Morphologies installation, which demonstrated the materials through an interactive and sensory experience. We frame our research within the context of…

 

ABSTRACT

This paper describes Hydroactive Polymers (HAPs), a novel way of combining shape-changing
Electroactive Polymers (EAPs) and water for potential design and architectural explorations. We
present a number of experiments together with the Fluid Morphologies installation, which demonstrated
the materials through an interactive and sensory experience. We frame our research within
the context of both material science and design/architecture projects that engage the unique
material properties of EAPs. A detailed description of the design and fabrication process is given,
followed by a discussion of material limitations and the potential for improving robustness and production.
We demonstrate fluid manipulation of light and shadow that would be impossible to achieve
with traditional electromechanical actuators. Through the development of this new actuator, we
have attempted to advance the accessibility of programmable materials for designers and architects
to conduct hands-on experiments and prototypes. We thus conclude that the HAP modules hold
a previously unexplored yet promising potential for a new kind of shape-changing, liquid-based
architecture.