Adaptnetic Structures

‘Adaptnetic Structures’ (Adaptive Magnetic Structures) is a prototype that seeks to imagine a future where nanotechnology and materials research has given rise to sophisticated programmable matter, capable of changing its physical properties based on some kind of internal programming. The emerging scientific field of ‘claytronics’ is an example of modern day research in this area.

Here a viscous non-Newtonian fluid has been mixed with nano-scale particles of magnetic iron oxide (Non-Newtonian fluids have distinguished properties, in this case becoming solid with the application of sudden pressure).

With powerful neodymium magnets placed upon a raised platform, the magnetised non-Newtonian fluid is drawn up from underneath appearing to form additional support columns, which (due to their non-Newtonian properties) would provide initial resistance to sudden impacts. In this sense the fluid becomes a dynamic entity capable of re-arranging and concentrating itself where potentially needed.

By certain schools of thought, this may represent a form of ‘simple’ programmable matter (where the programmable element can be seen as external to the material itself by the placement and arrangement of extrinsic magnetic fields).

However ‘Adaptnetic Structures’ is only represented here as a prototype, and an indication of a future where sophisticated programmable matter may indeed form the basis of an architecture that constantly adapts to our ever changing needs.

Alexander Owen David Lorimer (born 13 October 1989) is a British inventor best known for independently developing (2011) and popularising lorimerlite structures for the particular application of resisting compressive forces. In the field of architecture and engineering, his areas of focus include algorithmic and participatory design, and bio-mimicry.

Currently he is working on computer algorithm that will facilitate complete decentralisation and open participation in the process of design.


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3 Responses

  1. We have also worked with the arrangement of positioning magnetic fields through algorithmic data extracted from environmental and structural analysis. Our research was more based on an additive manufacturing process. However I find the choice to keep the matter in liquid form (if I am to understand correctly) to be quite intriguing. Are there any other publications on your research. Contact me if you would like to join forces I believe our work could push each other quite far.

  2. Edward says:

    id be curious about how strong the supports are. would they eventually be crushed, or could they sustain the weight of a building, adapting in real-time to environmental changes such as earthquakes, high winds, etc.? perhaps a stronger, more robust “adaptnetic” substance could be used for this application?

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