TED Fellows » TED Fellows Network » Skylar Tibbits

Skylar Tibbits

Architect + computer scientist

Skylar Tibbits

Professional Role

Current Titles:

Founder & Principal, SJET LLC Lecturer, MIT Department of Architecture

Current Organizations:

SJET & MIT


Photos

Uploaded Photos

Videos

TEDxBoston - Skylar Tibbits - When Things Build Themselves

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The Self-Assembly Line

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voltaDom Fabrication Time-Lapse

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voltaDom

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Biased Chains

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SJET_Catscan

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MacroBot_2

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Logic Matter_Programming Sequence

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Projects

Self-Assembly Line: From Chaos to Order and Back
? – present
The Self-Assembly Line, aims to construct a large-scale version of self-assembly virus modules as a user-interactive and performative structure. This is an installation that builds installations, where people engage the assembly process by rotating the enclosure, changing the speed/direction and adding parts to influence the performance of self-assembly at macro-scales. Skylar Tibbits, Arthur Olson Project Team: Martin Seymour, Andrew Manto, Erioseto Hendranata, Justin Gallagher, Laura Salazar, Veronica Emig
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Macrobot
? – present
Skylar Tibbits presented the Macrobot as a collaboration with Neil Gershenfeld's Center for Bits and Atoms Milli-biology team, MIT, May 2009. The MacroBot was an investigation to develop systems of Programmable Matter/Coded Folding at large scale lengths. Project Team: Kenny Cheung, Ara Knaian, Scott Greenwald, Forest Green, Keywon Chung, David Dalrymple, Taro Narahara Many Thanks : Steffen Reichert, Jonathan Ward, Max Lobovsky, Veronica Emig, Ilan Moyer Fabrication: MIT Material: Alliance Metals
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Decibot
? – present
Skylar Tibbits, presented the Decibot along side the rest of the *bot family, from Neil Gershenfeld's Center for Bits and Atoms milli-biology project, at DARPA's InfoChemistry conference under the category of Programmable Matter, Oct. 2009. The Decibot is part of the larger *bot family of programmable matter 1D folding chains. The *bot family contains electromechanical folding @ nm, mm, cm, dm part lengths. The decibot is the largest of the family with overall dimensions of 144″x18″x18″ unfolded and 36″x36″x36″ folded into a cube. Project Team: Neil Gershenfeld, Ara Knaian, Peter Schmidt-Nielsen, Skylar Tibbits, Kenny Cheung, Max Lobovsky, Asa Oines, Erik Demaine, Jonathan Bachrach, Scott Greenwald, Forrest Green, David Dalrymple, Steffen Reichert, Jonathan Ward Fabrication: MIT Material: Alliance Metals
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Logic Matter
? – present
Logic Matter: Digital Logic as heuristics for physical self-guided-assembly Given the increasing complexity of the physical structures surrounding our everyday environment; buildings, machines, computers and almost every other physical object that humans interact with, the processes of assembling these complex structures are inevitably caught in a battle of time, complexity and human/machine processing power. If we are to keep up with this exponential growth in construction complexity we need to develop automated assembly logic embedded within our material parts to aid in construction. In this thesis I introduce Logic Matter as a system of passive mechanical digital logic modules for self-guided-assembly of large-scale structures. As opposed to current systems in self-reconfigurable robotics, Logic Matter introduces scalability, robustness, redundancy and local heuristics to achieve passive assembly. I propose a mechanical module that implements digital NAND logic as an effective tool for encoding local and global assembly sequences. I then show a physical prototype that successfully demonstrates the described mechanics, encoded information and passive self-guided-assembly. Finally, I show exciting potentials of Logic Matter as a new system of computing with applications in space/volume filling, surface construction, and 3D circuit assembly. Advisor: Terry Knight Professor of Design and Computation, Department of Architecture, MIT Advisor: Patrick Winston Ford Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, EECS, MIT Reader: Erik Demaine Associate Professor, EECS, MIT
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Biased Chains
? – present
Biased Chains are prototypic chain structures that encode assembly instructions directly into the material parts and aim at passive self-assembly. The user simply adds each unit, piece-by-piece, orienting them according to the designed linear fold sequence (much like our Ribosome’s decoding of RNA into fold sequences of complex proteins). Next, the user takes the chain and stochastically shakes it, allowing each of the units to click into place. Each unit has a biased direction and is assembled locally based on a globally desired sequence of folds. The folds can be dictated such that they describe any overall geometry from 2D & 3D lines to 3D surfaces and volumes. In collaboration with: Neil Gershenfeld, Kenny Cheung, Max Lobovsky, Erik Demaine, Jonathan Bachrach, Jonathan Ward
Project Website »

OLS Office Pavilions
? – present
A collaboration & consultancy with Radlab Inc and Reverse Architecture. "As part of a renovation and expansion of the headquarters for a design and engineering company in the medical devices industry, the pavilions serve as informal collaboration spaces within a large open office. Designed with Radlab Inc, in collaboration with Reverse Architecture, the two interior pavilions are intended as iconic anchors within the office, linking the first and second levels on the one hand, and serving to mediate between the 'working' space and the 'eating' space on the other. With two team meeting rooms in each pavilion, these semi-private spaces will be the primary nodes for collaboration. Consequently they will need to promote the kind of creative and intellectual stimulus necessary for a high level of design, research and product development. The pavilions will act as key geographic features, serving as points of departure as well as arrival. They carry a distinct 'weight', therefore, in providing a diverse range of important functions." "While providing these functions the pavilions must also engage with their surroundings, not as intraverted foreign objects, but as integrated tools. It is this mandate that presses each envelope toward openness and transparency, providing a balance between some acoustic and visual filtering while sustaining some acoustic and visual connections. A type of 'lightness' of the meeting spaces occurs, in part, as a result of minimizing their solidity and opacity without compromising functionality. Perhaps more importantly, lightness is achieved through materiality, structure, graphics and form, employing a composition intended to cultivate a sense of playfulness and continual change." -Radlab Inc
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Coding [Global] Strands
? – present
Skylar Tibbits and Jared Laucks have been commissioned to design and produce 5 trophies/design objects for GE and SEED Media Group's Data Visualization Marathons in: Sydney, New York, Sao Paulo, London and Berlin. Coding [Global] Strands, by Skylar Tibbits and Jared Laucks attempts to visualize five distinct cities; Sao Paulo, Sydney, London, Berlin and New York, as individual strands weaving together, interlocking and uniting for a common scientific front. Each of the five cities has been located on the globe with respect to its relative geographic longitude and latitude. The cities then were set free to grow towards one another, never intersecting, eventually describing the globe as a whole. The resultant five single strands twist, turn and solidify to create an intricate description of the globe and the goal of collective scientific discovery. The five elements are then separated from one another and displayed as individually iconic elements – with their memory and geometry as a visual history of the five global cities and path of exploration. The trophies are 3D printed with an SLS nylon material then coated with a nickel plated metal finish. The nameplates are made from black anodized aluminum and engraved with a 1/64" bit on a 3-axis milling machine. Many thanks to Adam Bly and Charlene Manuel of SEED Media Group and GE for their support and commission. Congratulations to the winning teams around the world! Generous support from Keith Schneider and Bob Bechtold of Harbec Plastics.
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voltaDom
? – present
VoltaDom, by Skylar Tibbits - for MIT's 150th Anniversary Celebration & FAST Arts Festival (Festival of Arts, Science and Technology) - is an installation that populates the corridor spanning building 56 & 66 on MIT’s campus. This installation lines the concrete and glass hallway with hundreds of vaults, reminiscent of the great vaulted ceilings of historic cathedrals. The vaults provide a thickened surface articulation and a spectrum of oculi that penetrate the hallway and surrounding area with views and light. VoltaDom attempts to expand the notion of the architectural “surface panel,” by intensifying the depth of a doubly-curved vaulted surface, while maintaining relative ease in assembly and fabrication. This is made possible by transforming complex curved vaults to developable strips, one that likens the assembly to that of simply rolling a strip of material. Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors: Quadrant EPP - Kress Schwartz Philips, Color Kinetics - Fernando Matho & John Warwick This installation would not have been possible without the amazing support from: Tod Machover, Meejin Yoon, Paul Kassabian, Meg Rotzel, Melissa Murphy, Leila Kinney and the rest of the 150 FAST committee, Adele Santos, Nader Tehrani, Paul Murphy, Jim Harrington, Daniela Stoudenkova, Susanne Seitinger, Nick Gelpi, Joel Lamere, Cristina Parreno, Filip Tejchman, John Difrancesco, Tom Lutz, Veronica Emig, Jared Laucks, Dina and Jim McFalls. A special thanks to all of the students for their amazing dedication and hardwork on design, prototyping and assembly: Andrew Manto, Toshiro Ihara, May Hwang, Jaeyual Lee, Richard Ong, Nick Polansky, Erioseto Hendranata, Daniela Covarrubias, Karina Silvester, James Coleman, Moe Amaya, Daniel Rosenberg, Duks Koschitz, Song-Ching Tai, Jeff Lin, Ari Kardasis...
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Biography

SKYLAR TIBBITS is a trained Architect, Designer and Computer Scientist whose research currently focuses on developing self-assembly technologies for large-scale structures in our physical environment. Skylar graduated from Philadelphia University with a 5 yr. Bachelor of Architecture degree and minor in experimental computation. Continuing his education at MIT, he received a Masters of Science in Design + Computation and a Masters of Science in Computer Science. Skylar is currently a lecturer in MIT's Department of Architecture, teaching graduate and undergraduate design studios and co-teaching How to Make (Almost) Anything, a seminar at MIT's Media Lab. Skylar was recently awarded a TED2012 Senior Fellowship, a TED2011 Fellowship and has been named a Revolutionary Mind in SEED Magazine's 2008 Design Issue. His previous work experience includes: Zaha Hadid Architects, Asymptote Architecture, SKIII Space Variations and Point b Design. Skylar has exhibited work at a number of venues around the world including: the Guggenheim Museum NY and the Beijing Biennale, lectured at MoMA and SEED Media Group's MIND08 Conference, Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Institute for Computational Design in Stuttgart and The Center for Architecture NY. He has been published in numerous articles and built large-scale installations around the world from Paris, Calgary, NY to Frankfurt and MIT. As a guest critic, Skylar has visited a range of schools from the University of Pennsylvania, Pratt Institute and Harvard's Graduate School of Design. Skylar has collaborated with a number of influential people over the years including: Neil Gershenfeld and The Center for Bits and Atoms, Erik and Marty Demaine at MIT, Adam Bly at SEED Media Group and Marc Fornes of THEVERYMANY. In 2007, Skylar Tibbits and Marc Fornes co-curated Scriptedbypurpose, the first exhibition focused exclusively on scripted processes within design. SJET LLC, founded by Skylar Tibbits in 2007, was initiated as platform for experimental computation + design and has grown into a multidisciplinary research based practice. SJET crosses disciplines from architecture + design, fabrication, computer science to robotics... SJET is a direct result of an endless search for more...


Vital Stats

Fellows Class
TED2011
2012 TED Senior Fellow
Languages
English
Living in
Boston, United States
Working in
Cambridge, United States
Born in
Laguna Beach, United States
Gender
Male

Contact

Twitter
@skylartibbits
Websites
www.sjet.us www.scriptedbypurpose.net

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