Being Material, MIT Press, 2019. Credit: HErickson/MIT CAST.

Being Material

At the intersection of art, science, and technology, the book Being Material explores the worlds of materialities and materialisms today: the unexpected convergences in the practices of artists, designers, engineers, and scientists who work with programmable matter, self-assembling structures, 3D/4D printing, wearable technologies, and bio-inspired design. The editors and contributors seek to extend our understanding of how material dynamics limit, expand, transform, and/or vivify biological, social, and political lives.

Published October 2019

Edited by Marie-Pier Boucher, Stefan Helmreich, Leila W Kinney, Skylar Tibbits, Rebecca Uchill and Evan Ziporyn

More information at the MIT Press

Active Matter, published September 2017 by MIT Press.

Active Matter

The past few decades brought a revolution in computer software and hardware; today we are on the cusp of a materials revolution. If yesterday we programmed computers and other machines, today we program matter itself. This has created new capabilities in design, computing, and fabrication, which allow us to program proteins and bacteria, to generate self-transforming wood products and architectural details, and to create clothing from “intelligent textiles” that grow themselves. This book offers essays and sample projects from the front lines of the emerging field of active matter.

Active matter and programmable materials are at the intersection of science, art, design, and engineering, with applications in fields from biology and computer science to architecture and fashion. These essays contextualize current work and explore recent research. Sample projects, generously illustrated in color, show the range of possibilities envisioned by their makers. Contributors explore the design of active material at scales from nano to micro, kilo, and even planetary. They investigate processes of self-assembly at a microscopic level; test new materials that can sense and actuate themselves; and examine the potential of active matter in the built environment and in living and artificial systems. Active Matter is an essential guide to a field that could shape the future of design.

Published September 2017

Edited by Skylar Tibbits, Assistant Professor, Architecture and Co-director of the Self-Assembly Lab

More information at the MIT Press

Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense, published 2016 by MIT Press.


Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense is conceived as an interrogation of the category of “experience” from a range of disciplinary perspectives and material confrontations. The first publication of the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), the book convenes a conversation with artists, musicians, philosophers, anthropologists, historians and neuroscientists, each of whom explores experience across sensorial and cultural realms. As part of this undertaking, the editors invited leading contemporary artists to produce aesthetic experiences that unfurl during the reader’s engagement with this book object.

Published 2016

Edited by Caroline A. Jones, Professor of art history in the History, Theory, Criticism (HTC) section of the Department of Architecture at MIT, David Mather, former Andrew W. Mellon postdoc at MIT and Rebecca K. Uchill, former Andrew W. Mellon postdoc at MIT.

More information at the MIT Press