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Ever since I bought the Muscle Wire Project Book in the mid ’90s and experimented with the “Flexinol” shape memory alloy I bought with it, I’ve been fascinated by this material. I’ve also been amazed at how few applications SMA has enjoyed in the real world since then. There appears to be a recent growth in real-world applications, in fields like medicine and aviation. New York-based architecture firm, The Living, have been demoing their concept for using SMA to create “living glass,” breathable surfaces that open up like fish gills using MCU-controlled SMA. Their presentation documents, in decent detail, how they went about the process. While this may or may not be a workable idea for walls and windows, hopefully it’ll get people thinking. SMA continues to seem like a really cool, futuristic technology in search of worthy apps. I mean, look at Flexon...

Living Glass presentation – [via] Link

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • underneaththeearth

    This would be great to replace the vents in a house with. It wouldn’t be too hard to provide the controller with real-time temperature feedback to regulate each room… and it would be darn cool to have a “breathing house”