Nano Micro Macro: Adaptive Material Laboratory (with SEAS)

In recent years, a wealth of cross-disciplinary research has produced unprecedented growth in the study of “architectured-materials."  At the heart of this growth is a desire to design extraordinary functionality by manipulating matter at the smallest length scale possible—think nano or even atomic.  The science's new approach to material design is radical. This course asks what these new material technologies mean to design, energy, and our everyday occupancy of this planet.

This course brings together scientists, engineers, and designers to think across scales, learn about each other’s' working methods, and address real-world challenges by designing new materials and applying them to new applications, or atmospheres. It is co-taught by faculty from the GSD and SEAS and co-listed between the two schools. There are no prerequisites.

Working closely with laboratories from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and SEAS, the 2018 edition of this course will focus on the potential of these new materials to be translated across scales and application space. To develop bio-inspired adaptive materials capable of responding to thermal, chemical, or other stimuli, students may work with scientists from the Aizenberg Lab. Those interested in the mechanical behavior of meta-materials may work with the Bertoldi Group to understand the effects of cellular aggregation in structural materials. While other students may be excited to explore super-tough and self-actuated soft materials with scientists from the Mooney Lab. Across all of these possible experiences, students will work closely with their scientist counterparts to gain hands-on, practical knowledge of prototyping and experimental methods that provide meaningful insight into the future of material design.

As in previous years, the course will be an intensely interdisciplinary, project-based exploration that challenges students from the sciences and design to re-think the way they approach their craft. Students will be asked to navigate the space between the sciences and design through a collaborative semester-long group project. A sequence of lectures, workshops, and ideation sessions will provide a framework that guides students towards understanding and mastering the innovation process itself. Scientists from the Wyss, SEAS, and industry will provide both material specific guest lectures as well as visionary lectures to help students frame their work. Students will conduct part of their work in the Wyss or SEAS science labs on Oxford Street, as well as at the GSD FabLab.

Note: MDE students, this course can satisfy a GSD course requirement by enrolling in SCI 6477, or a SEAS course requirement by enrolling in ES 291. But it cannot simultaneously satisfy both requirements.

Jointly Offered Course: SEAS ES291