Responsive Matter

Cooperate with our material environments, to work together.

How and why should we look for and put into use new active, reactive, controllable and even living materials that allow for interaction, taking into account their symbolic power and, in some cases, their capacity to produce representations (image, sound, light)?

It’s no longer a question of thinking of matter as an inert entity to be formed or informed, but rather of considering it as a kind of partner whose power to act must be taken into account in physical, aesthetic, and symbolic dimensions.

Arbor Antenarum

Raphaëlle Kerbrat, 2021

In this installation, small metal antennas capture the electromagnetic environment (2.4GHz) around them. A network of copper cables extends from the antennae and feeds them, like roots. The needles on each of the devices indicate the strength of the signal received by each of the antennas, reflecting the instability and permanent fluctuations of the radio landscape.
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Additive Manufacturing: from print to animation

Antoine Desjardins, Giancarlo Rizza, Simone Leantan and Laurent Karst | 2019–2020

Bringing life into inanimate objects is the new field emerging from 3D printing technologies, also called “4D printing.” The workshop “From Print to Animation” aims at the manufacture/use/experimentation of articulated surfaces and magneto-reactive soft polymers that can reproduce natural behavior.
Designs for the folding and printing of flexible materials with ferrofluid- or magnetite-charged parts are used to study the movements induced by magnetic fields on familiar shapes borrowed from the organic world in registers crisscrossing plants and animals.

This collaborative work arose from the encounter between the work of the visual artist Antoine Desjardins, teacher at EnsAD, and the research of the physicist Giancarlo Rizza, who works at the LSI of the École Polytechnique, along with Simone Leantan and in collaboration with the architect-designer Laurent Karst.
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Samuel Bianchini and Ianis Lallemand | 2019

“Table/Table” explores the polysemy of the term in English, as both furniture and data table. It involves an installation (for now a prototype) whose form depends on the parameters of terms proposed by the participants of a discussion: the table geometry consists in a deformed grid of rectangular cells, each attributed to one keyword. The location of the keywords within the grid is computed to match the seats of the guests who have proposed them, so that each participant in the discussion sits “facing” their own keyword. As the discussion around the table progresses, the keywords are given weight according to their frequency of use.

This project was developed by Samuel Bianchini and Ianis Lallemand, within the EnsadLab Reflective Interaction research group. It was initiated during the “Useful Fictions” symposium in September 2019 at École Polytechnique, as part of the “Data Materia” workshop, which aimed at materializing and designing prototypes and installations based on datasets.
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Rheological Study

Antoine Desjardins, Socorro Castro-Garcia, and Jorge Salgado Beceiro (University of Corunna, Spain) | 2018

Rheological study of porcelain augmented with nano-composites for its viability in 3D printing. Study of porcelain paste behavior when 3D-printed with a Wasp printer; extrusion under pressure; screw-controlled flow; and analysis of the impact of nanoparticles, tixotropes, and alcohol dosage, so as to obtain a porcelain mixture with improved holding and adherence to help realize various shapes.
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