Robotic Membranes

Mette Ramsgard Thomsen

Research output: Other contribution


'Robotic Membranes' continues research into digitally informed, responsive and generative environments as explored in, for example, the 'Sea Unsea' project. Challenging the presence of the digital, 'Robotic Membranes' investigates physical computing and robotics as means of discussing how space can become a performative condition. In the last decade, responsive environments and ubiquitous computing have led to concepts such as the intelligent house and the smart home where interface technologies are integrated into the fabric of buildings, thereby suggesting architecture as a reactive organism. 'Robotic Membranes' challenges this idea of user optimisation. Instead of a benign desire to accommodate the perceived wishes of its occupant, 'Robotic Membranes' questions how the material could gain its own internal behaviours acting and reacting to changes in external and internal contexts. 'Robotic Membranes' merges concepts and technologies from architecture, textiles and robotics. Using the term textile as both technology and material, 'Robotic Membranes' suggests new ways incorporating controllable state changes into the textiles constructions. The research aims to create a common surface, or membrane, that collapses sensing and actuation. By programming these materials with generative logics that lead to the emergence of behaviour and thereby to the shaping of form, an autonomous material is created, defined through its potential for action as well as for reaction, for adaptation and for learning. 'Robotic Membranes' uses a practice based research method building on design investigations and material explorations. The project develops prototypes and demonstrators to explore the intersections between multiple fields of practice. The project was reviewed in Berlingske (2 November 2006), and links to 'Breathing Room', a robotic installation by Thomsen at Brandt's Auditorium, Odense (August 2007) as well as Thomsen's article for Arkitekten (01:07: 55-8) and Scroope 18 (2006: 160-67).
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Brighton Gallery
Place of PublicationBrighton, UK
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2007


  • Digital
  • Performance
  • Architecture


Dive into the research topics of 'Robotic Membranes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this