Did you miss 3-D printing guru Skylar Tibbits at this year’s TED conference? Never fear, there’s an opportunity to hear Tibbits in New York City on April 12. And not just hear but participate in a hands-on workshop that Tibbits will lead as part of Facades + PERFORMANCE, a two-day conference on high-performance building enclosures sponsored by The Architect’s Newspaper.
Earlier this week at TED, Tibbits gave 3-D printing another dimension, quite literally, when he presented the possibility of “4-D printing,” or programming materials to self-reassemble into new structures over time. Tibbits unveiled a 4-D printer concept developed with MIT that he argues could have far-reaching implications for not just manufacturing but also for architecture. Will architects one day be able to design structures that build and mend themselves? Here’s the idea, as Tibbits told TED:
“If we combine the processes that natural systems offer intrinsically—genetic instructions, energy production, error correction—with those artificial or synthetic—programmability for design and scaffold, structure, mechanisms—we can potentially have extremely large-scale quasi-biological and quasi-synthetic architectural organisms.”
Trained as an architect and a computer scientist, Tibbits directs MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab and teaches in the school’s architecture department. He got his start working with the likes of Zaha Hadid and Asymptote Architecture, later founding SJET LLC, a multidisciplinary research based practice. Along the way, Tibbits was named a “Revolutionary Mind” by SEED Magazine in 2008, and in 2011 he was awarded a 2011 TED Fellowship, becoming TED Senior Fellow in 2012.
At his April 12 workshop, Tibbits will introduce Python for Rhino, a program that has been a foundation of his work, and cover covered topics ranging from Running Scripts, Syntax, Data Types, and Variables to Flow Control, Tuples/Lists/Dictionaries, Points/Vectors, Functions, Paneling and Recursion. The training portion of the workshop will concentrate on IronPython within Rhino.
To register for the workshop and for the April 11-12 conference, where experts in the industry will analyze, discuss, and dispute the development, implementation, and maintenance of facades, click here.