Skylar Tibbits

Skylar Tibbits is Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at MIT, where he is also the founder of the Self Assembly Lab. His work has been exhibited at the Guggenheim in New York, the FRAC Centre, the Beijing Biennale, and the Centre Pompidou.

  • Being Material

    Being Material

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

    Explorations of the many ways of being material in the digital age.

    In his oracular 1995 book Being Digital, Nicholas Negroponte predicted that social relations, media, and commerce would move from the realm of “atoms to bits”—that human affairs would be increasingly untethered from the material world. And yet in 2019, an age dominated by the digital, we have not quite left the material world behind. In Being Material, artists and technologists explore the relationship of the digital to the material, demonstrating that processes that seem wholly immaterial function within material constraints. Digital technologies themselves, they remind us, are material things—constituted by atoms of gold, silver, silicon, copper, tin, tungsten, and more.

    The contributors explore five modes of being material: programmable, wearable, livable, invisible, and audible. Their contributions take the form of reports, manifestos, philosophical essays, and artist portfolios, among other configurations. The book's cover merges the possibilities of paper with those of the digital, featuring a bookmark-like card that, when “seen” by a smartphone, generates graphic arrangements that unlock films, music, and other dynamic content on the book's website. At once artist's book, digitally activated object, and collection of scholarship, this book both demonstrates and chronicles the many ways of being material.

    Contributors Christina Agapakis, Azra Akšamija, Sandy Alexandre, Dewa Alit, George Barbastathis, Maya Beiser, Marie-Pier Boucher, Benjamin H. Bratton, Hussein Chalayan, Jim Cybulski, Tal Danino, Deborah G. Douglas, Arnold Dreyblatt, M. Amah Edoh, Michelle Tolini Finamore, Team Foldscope and Global Foldscope community, Ben Fry, Victor Gama, Stefan Helmreich, Hyphen-Labs, Leila Kinney, Rebecca Konte, Winona LaDuke, Brendan Landis, Grace Leslie, Bill Maurer, Lucy McRae, Tom Özden-Schilling, Trevor Paglen, Lisa Parks, Nadya Peek, Claire Pentecost, Manu Prakash,Casey Reas, Paweł Romańczuk, Natasha D. Schüll, Nick Shapiro, Skylar Tibbits, Rebecca Uchill, Evan ZiporynBook Design: E Roon KangElectronics, interactions, and product designer: Marcelo Coelho

    • Hardcover $39.95
  • Active Matter

    Active Matter

    Skylar Tibbits

    The first book on active matter, an emerging field focused on programming physical materials to assemble themselves, transform autonomously, and react to information.

    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.

    • Hardcover $39.95