Nano Micro Macro: Adaptive Material Laboratory (with SEAS)

A nanometer is to meter as a grapefruit is to the earth. And materials scientists, by discovering how to manipulate matter at the atomic scale, have radically extended the arena for inventing new technology. Welcome to "Nano, Micro, Macro," a course that brings together scientists, engineers, and designers to think across scales, learn about each others' working methods, and respond to challenges in the real-world by designing new materials or applying them in new areas.

This course is co-taught by faculty from the GSD and SEAS and co-listed between the two schools. It always cultivates a broad range of ideas, but the 2017 edition has a particular focus: adaptive or hybrid materials that manage flows of heat and light while performing other functions. Adaptive materials change in response to their environment, while hybrids combine materials, inner space, and surface features in geometric or chemical compositions. In both cases, the idea is to create new attributes, properties or functions. Co-instructor Prof. Joanna Aizenberg (SEAS, Wyss) and contributors Katia Bertoldi (SEAS) and James Weaver (Wyss) are pioneers in adaptive and hybrid materials, while co-instructor Salmaan Craig (GSD) develops hybrid materials for the thermoregulation of buildings.

As in previous years, the course will be an intense, interdisciplinary, hands-on experience for students from both schools, reconciling knowledge from materials science, product design, architecture, and engineering. A sequence of lectures, readings, workshops, lab exercises, design challenges, and charettes will provide a framework for students to develop a project in groups over the course of the semester. Scientists from the Wyss and SEAS will offer access to exciting new material technologies and offer hands-on, practical advice on designing experiments and prototypes. Students will conduct part of their work in the Wyss or SEAS science labs on Oxford Street, as well as at the GSD FabLab. Prototypes will be exhibited at the end of the course and must demonstrate how small-scale material behavior translates to larger scale performance in the built environment. There are no prerequisites for the course.

Jointly Offered Course: SEAS ES291