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Programmable materials for architectural assembly and automation

Skylar Tibbits (SJET LLC, Boston, Massachusetts, USA and Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Kenny Cheung (Center for Bits and Atoms, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Publication date: 27 July 2012



The purpose of this paper is to explain a current implementation of a programmable and computational material, Logic Matter, and to describe potential applications for computational materials and self‐guided assembly.


Following an introduction, the paper describes the types of information currently found in architectural construction, then introduces Logic Matter, a building block embodying physical digital logic. Examples of structural optimization and construction scenarios are given, to demonstrate the benefits of programmable and computational physical materials for assembly.


Logic Matter demonstrates a prototype with embedded digital logic and programmability, offering new applications for automated assembly, online material analysis and physical computing.


The paper describes the existing types of architectural construction information and proposes a novel application of programmable and computational material for automated assembly.



Tibbits, S. and Cheung, K. (2012), "Programmable materials for architectural assembly and automation", Assembly Automation, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 216-225.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited