Skylar Tibbits

Aerial Assemblies
Self-Assembly is a process by which disordered parts build an ordered structure through local interaction. We have demonstrated that this phenomenon is scale-independent and can be utilized for self-constructing and manufacturing systems at nearly every scale. We have also identified the key ingredients for self-assembly as a simple set of responsive building blocks, energy and interactions that can be designed within nearly every material and machining process available. Self-assembly promises to enable breakthroughs across every applications of biology, material science, software, robotics, manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure, construction, the arts, and even space exploration.

Skylar Tibbits and Arthur Olson

The Self-Assembly Line
Can we create objects that assemble themselves — that zip together like a strand of DNA or that have the ability for transformation embedded into them? These are the questions that Skylar Tibbits investigates in his Self-Assembly Lab at MIT, a cross-disciplinary research space where designers, scientists and engineers come together to find ways for disordered parts to become ordered structures.

Skylar Tibbits

Rock Print
The world has been “about to be revolutionized” by 3D printing for years now, but aside from rapid prototyping, 3D selfies, and the occasional gimmicky 3D-printed house, we don’t see much of it every day. So why hasn’t this technology revolutionized modern infrastructure? One reason is that it still has to compete with concrete, one of the cheapest, most versatile, and efficiently delivered materials in the history of architecture. At the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Self-Assembly Lab at MIT and Gramazio Kohler Research of ETH Zurich showed off a process that might finally one-up concrete, using only a 3D printing extruder, rocks, string, and smart design.