If today we program
computers and machines,
tomorrow we will
program matter itself.

If today we program
computers and machines,
tomorrow we will
program matter itself.

A conference
organized by

the Self-Assembly Lab,
MIT

in collaboration with
the Center for Art Science &
Technology, MIT

the Department of
Architecture, MIT

the International Design
Center, MIT

Autodesk Inc.

Steelcase Inc.

4/24–25

A conference
organized by

the Self-Assembly Lab,
MIT

in collaboration with

the Center for Art Science &
Technology, MIT

the Department of
Architecture, MIT

the International Design
Center, MIT

Autodesk Inc.

Stellcase Inc.

4/24–25

If today we program
computers and machines,
tomorrow we will
program matter itself.

In recent decades, developments in software and hardware technologies have created dramatic shifts in design, manufacturing and research. Software technologies have facilitated automated process and new solutions for complex problems. Computation has also become a platform for creativity through generative art and design. New hardware platforms and digital fabrication technologies have similarly transformed manufacturing, offering more efficient production and mass customization. Such advances have helped catalyzed the maker-movement, democratizing design and maker culture. This influx of new capabilities to design, compute and fabricate like never before, has sparked a renewed interest in material performance.

We are now witnessing significant advances in active matter, 3D/4D Printing, materials science, synthetic biology, DNA nanotechnology and soft robotics, which have led to the convergence of software, hardware and material technologies and the growing field of programmable materials.

This conference is about the emerging field of active matter and programmable materials that bridges the worlds of art, science, engineering and design, demonstrating new perspectives for computation, transformation and dynamic material applications.

If over the past few decades we have experienced a software revolution, and more recently, a hardware revolution, this conference aims to discuss the premisses, challenges and innovations brought by today’s materials revolution. We can now sense, compute, and actuate with materials alone, just as we could with software and hardware platforms previously. How does this shift influence materials research, and how does it shape the future of design, arts, and industrial applications? What tools and design processes do we need to advance, augment and invent new materials today? What are the key roles that industry, government, academic and public institutions can play in catalyzing the field of programmable materials?

This two-day conference will consist of a range of talks and lively discussion from leading researchers in materials science, art & design, synthetic biology and soft-robotics along with leaders from government, public institutions and industry.

Conference Chairs:

Skylar Tibbits &
Athina Papadopoulou
— Self-Assembly Lab MIT

Conference Committee:

Leila Kinney, Liz Murphy &
Meg Rotzel
— Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST)

Irina Chernyakova
— Dept. of Architecture MIT

Carlos Olguin &
Tom Wujec
— Autodesk Inc


The Active Matter Summit is funded in part by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) through the generosity of Ronald A. Kurtz '54, in recognition of the exemplary career of Merton C. Flemings, Toyota Professor Emeritus and founding director of the Materials Processing Center at MIT.

Self Assembly Lab
Arts center for art, science and technology at MIT
MIT Architecture
SUTD-MIT International design centre
The Center for Bit and Atoms
Autodesk Inc.
Steelcase inc.

BARTOS
THEATER
E15-070
MIT

line
media lab

20 Ames Street Building E15
Atrium level, Cambridge,
Massachusetts 02139

MAP

Friday April 24th —
Saturday April 25th
2015

BARTOS THEATER
E15-070, MIT

linemedia lab

20 Ames Street Building E15
Atrium level, Cambridge,
Massachusetts 02139

MAP

Friday April 24th —
Saturday April 25th
2015


SPEAKERS

Achim Menges
ICD Stuttgart

Alfredo Alexander-Katz
MIT

Arthur Olson
The Scripps Research Institute

Athina Papadopoulou
MIT, Organiser

Ben Aranda &
Chris Lasch
Aranda/Lasch

Christophe Cross &
Vincent Loubiere
Airbus

Christophe Guberan
Product Designer

Daniela Rus &
John Romanishin
MIT

Erik Demaine
MIT

Fio Omenetto
Tufts University

Heinrich Jaeger
MIT

Hod Lipson &
Rob MacCurdy
Cornell University

Jennifer Lewis &
Sydney Gladman
Harvard University

Jenny Sabin
Cornell University

Junus Khan
Carbitex

Lodovica Illari
MIT

Marcelo Coelho
Marcelo Coelho Studio

Markus Beuhler
MIT

Michael Dickey &
Ying Liu
NC State University

Neil Gershenfeld
MIT

Neri Oxman
MIT

Paola Antonelli
MoMA

Paul Kassabia
SGH & MIT

Paul McEuen
Cornell University

Pedro Reis
MIT

Peko Hosoi
MIT

Peng Yin
Harvard University

Rob Wood
Harvard University

Simon Kim &
Mariana Ibanez
University of Pennsylvania &
Harvard University

Sheila Kennedy
MIT

Skylar Tibbits
MIT, Organiser

Suzanne Lee
Biocouture

Tal Danino
MIT

Tomas Saraceno
Artist