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ARTISTMediated Matter (Prof. Neri Oxman)WEBSITEhttp://matter.media.mit.edu/environments/details/silk-pavillion
TITLESilk PavilionEXHIBITIONS 

CONCEPT

Silk Pavilion explores the relationship between digital and biological fabrication on product and architectural scales.  (Used 6,500 silkworms as a 3D printer to finish off the structure)

 

 

Concept of (Im)possible Babies © ?
The Silk Pavilion explores the relationship between digital and biological fabrication on product and architectural scales.The primary structure was created of 26 polygonal panels made of silk threads laid down by a CNC (Computer-Numerically Controlled) machine. Inspired by the silkworm’s ability to generate a 3D cocoon out of a single multi-property silk thread (1km in length), the overall geometry of the pavilion was created using an algorithm that assigns a single continuous thread across patches providing various degrees of density. Overall density variation was informed by the silkworm itself deployed as a biological printer in the creation of a secondary structure. A swarm of 6,500 silkworms was positioned at the bottom rim of the scaffold spinning flat non-woven silk patches as they locally reinforced the gaps across CNC-deposited silk fibers. Following their pupation stage the silkworms were removed. Resulting moths can produce 1.5 million eggs with the potential of constructing up to 250 additional pavilions. Affected by spatial and environmental conditions including geometrical density as well as variation in natural light and heat, the silkworms were found to migrate to darker and denser areas. Desired light effects informed variations in material organization across the surface area of the structure. A season-specific sun path diagram mapping solar trajectories in space dictated the location, size and density of apertures within the structure in order to lock-in rays of natural light entering the pavilion from South and East elevations.  The central oculus is located against the East elevation and may be used as a sun-clock. Parallel basic research explored the use of silkworms as entities that can “compute” material organization based on external performance criteria. Specifically, we explored the formation of non-woven fiber structures generated by the silkworms as a computational schema for determining shape and material optimization of fiber-based surface structures. Research and Design by the Mediated Matter Research Group at the MIT Media Lab in collaboration with Prof. Fiorenzo Omenetto (TUFTS University) and Dr. James Weaver (WYSS Institute, Harvard University).


Inspiration & Ideas

What do you think? What else could you do with this? Did you come up with an idea?

 

What do you think?

About the author

View full profile Lena Asai from London & Tokyo

I study Design (BA) at Goldsmiths, University of London. I am a member of London Biohackspace, the UK’s first community lab, and is interested in exploring the relationship between art, design, and synthetic biology. I am participating in iGEM 2015 in the
Community Labs Track representing London Biohackspace. My team is developing a library of yeast strains for beer brewers. Feel free to drop me a message!

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