MAS.960 Crafted by Nature: Material Systems and Fabrication Technologies Prereq: Permission of instructor H-LEVEL Grad Credit
Digital design and fabrication technologies inspired by nature is an emerging research area that exploits the principles, logic and behavior of natural systems in the design of the built environment. The knowledge objective is to provide a research-based understanding of how such processes occur in nature and find their translation in the design of the artificial. The course provides a foundation of relevant knowledge in biologically inspired digital design & fabrication through an introduction to the theory and literature of Biomimicry. Exploiting this knowledge, the course will focus on various material processes such as weaving, folding and layering in micro and macro various scales. We will review the formal logic, mechanical behavior, and environmental impacts of a range of natural and synthetic materials as well as ways by which to shape them, inherent to their physical properties. Through physical and digital form-finding exercises, we will explore the relationships between materials and their shaping processes in the generation of form. We will invent novel fabrication methods inspired by nature and reconsider the way things are designed and made in the 21st century. The course is intended for advanced students with an interest in bio-inspired design and some design background in fabrication-based design. Competence in computational geometry and some command of parametric design software and basic programming are desirable. General knowledge of CAD, CAM and CAE platforms is encouraged. Enrollment limited, a short interest statement is required upon registration.