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Water Reaction / Biomimetic Material

Water Reaction
Water Reaction

Discipline: Product

Discipline: Product

In order to release and protect its seeds, a pine cone has the amazing ability to open and close through its surface reaction to water. This natural phenomenon led me to a material study of pine cones and of bio-mimicry science and has inspired me to create a laminate water-reactive material. Utilizing inherent properties, this bio-mimetic material detects humidity and changes its shape automatically without mechanical structures or electrical elements. Based on this material, I have designed the architectural surface which changes its color in the rain and a shelter which automatically closes to keep out the rain.

The fir-cone principle has been transferred to a façade study here to solve the problem of providing light and shade in living spaces. And it does so in a very natural way. The concept had the judges convinced right from the beginning!
Jury Statement
Thank you to the RCA for providing me with a platform to research through experiments and to design through making.
Winner Statement

Royal College of Art

Royal College of Art
London, United Kingdom

Chao Chen,
Royal College of Art