Embedded Movement

by: Paula van Brummelen

Embedded Movement
With a practice-led approach, the research project Embedded Movement develops kinetic-responsive surfaces through the integration of shape-changing materials.

It is investigated how the functional potential of kinetic structures can be increased without losing the flexible quality and reduced construction of the surface. Therefore geometric structures and manufacturing processes are evaluated for their suitability for a seamless integration of intelligent materials. On the other hand, it is tested whether surfaces can be given also sensory properties by embedding suitable materials.

By layering functional levels, an attempt is made to modify the motion from simple forward and backward movements to more complex movement sequences. In addition to opening up further areas of application in the architectural context, this can enable more differentiated reaction patterns to human interaction.

Within the first test series of Embedded Movement, 3D printing and casting make it possible to integrate shape memory alloys precisely into surfaces so that the SMA´s property of minimal contraction when heated can be used for positioning movements.

Paula van Brummelen has been working as a design researcher since completing her master studies in textile and surface design and in art education. Her research focuses on the one hand on the development of functional surfaces with integrated smart materials in an architectural context and on the other hand on the investigation of interaction possibilities with shape-changing surfaces and the influence of movement on the perception of materials.


Materialtests: kinetic structure made with different flexible materials
Detail 1: First experimental test series with TPU (Shore-hardness 95A) & shape memory alloy
Deformation of a structure through integrated SMA
Detail 2: First experimental test series with TPU (Shore-hardness 95A) & shape memory alloy