Living glass with shape memory alloy

Living glass with shape memory alloy

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

2 thoughts on “Living glass with shape memory alloy

  1. underneaththeearth says:

    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”

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance 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 to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).