Responsive membrane window
Hydrogels are polymeric materials capable of retaining large quantities of water within three-dimensional networks. Researchers at the MIT Media Lab sought to explore the hydrophilic-hydrophobic phase transition in hydrogels, which occurs slightly above room temperature, in a new form of glazing. The Vascular Skin window demonstrates the mechanical and optical transformations that happen at this phase transition, including permeability, swelling, and visual modification—thus allowing light and view control that responds to the ambient temperature. In this way, the Vascular Skin project presages the possibility of fully active building surfaces and products.
Contact: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mediated Matter Group, Cambridge, MA, USA.
For more information, see Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future