MIT Professor Markus Buehler and CAST Visiting Artist Tomás Saraceno discuss their research about materials and structures inspired by the intricate geometry of spiderwebs. Saraceno digitally captured a fully three dimensional spider web for the first time, which was later was scaled-up and reconstructed 16 times the web’s original size for the installation, 14 Billions (Working Title) 2010. Buehler’s lab has created a computer simulation of the data set generated by this project to reveal how the strands behave and interact in the web as a physical structure.
In this panel, Buehler will discuss the molecular structure of the proteins in spider’s silk and how art and engineering can function as mutually beneficial modes of discovery, as discussed in his recent book Biomateriomics, which emphasizes the universality of hierarchical structures in disparate systems as a mechanism to create tailored functions. Saraceno will envision a collaborative installation that would use a three dimensional spiderweb as an musical instrument to embody the incredible structural properties of spider’s silk.
John Ochsendorf, Class of 1942 Professor of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering
MIT Participants: Tomás Saraceno, CAST Visiting Artist; Markus Buehler, Professor and Head, Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT