MIT School of Architecture | 2016 | Partial Master Thesis project

Please visit NURBSForms 2.0 for the more advanced version of this project.

Physical interaction with material is a source of embodied knowledge and creativity in the process of making. While CAD/CAM technologies have brought various benefits to design process, their lack of tangible interaction with material has been a significant defect of them. Using digital technologies, the process of making has been divided into “design” as prior activity done through CAD software, and making as a non-interactive materializing process using digital fabrication machines. In order to overcome this separation, we need to rethink the interfaces by which we interact with digital tools. I propose Augmented Materials — defined as material interfaces embedded with digital and computational capabilities, to fill the gap between physical and digital media and re-connect design and making.

NURBSForm V2.0 with time-manipulation feature, including Save, Undo and Redo Buttons

Actuation of strips using Shape Memory Alloys

Electronic boards

Transformations of a 1*1 NURBSForm Interface

NURBSForm is an Augmented Material Interface that enables designers to create NURBS curves and surfaces in a physical medium while benefiting from digital capabilities such as time augmentation, enhanced precision, data transfer, and etc. Through the embedded electronic, sensor technology and actuation system, data from user’s bodily interaction is gathered, sent into the micro-processor, got processed and mapped to the output data, and presented through the actuation and transformations of material interface. In this way, NURBSForm is realizing an Augmented Matter that's employing features of both digital and physical media.