Mind & Matter


Blaine Brownell


Blaine Brownell's Latest Posts

  • Hard Science Gives Rise to Soft Machines

    Liquid metals embedded in elastic create a stretchable, sensory material.

    Purdue University researchers have developed a technique to produce sensory and stretchable "soft machines" for use in consumer electronics and robotics.

    ARCHITECT July 22, 2014

  • Herzog & de Meuron Shapes A Processing Plant with Rammed Earth

    Rammed earth gets a design-savvy redux in Ricola's newest facility.

    Known for its innovative uses of materials, the Switzerland-based firm finds a contemporary application for one of the world's oldest construction materials.

    ARCHITECT July 17, 2014

  • Microalgae Prints are Nature's Smart Textiles

    The saturated hues of patterns printed using the photo-sensitive organic material change over time.

    A German studio channels nature with an analog textile printing process that uses microalgae to color its patterns in saturated, photo-sensitive hues.

    ARCHITECT July 15, 2014

  • Developing Inorganic Materials to Support Life

    A matrix of woven glass fibers mimics the regenerative nature of bone and other tissue.

    Researchers in the U.K. and Japan have engineered a lattice of flexible glass fibers that emulates bone and other tissue to help the human body repair itself.

    ARCHITECT July 08, 2014

  • The Transformative Potential of Local Warming

    Targeted heating and cooling requires rethinking the building envelope.

    An exhibition by MIT’s Senseable City Lab at this year's International Architectural Biennale showcases sensor technology that aims to reduce a building's energy load with localized heating and cooling.

    ARCHITECT July 03, 2014

  • Robots Prefab a Timber Shell in Germany

    A prefabricated, lightweight timber shell shows robotic construction's potential.

    The prefabricated, lightweight timber pavilion by researchers at the University of Stuttgart in Germany makes a case for machine-driven construction.

    ARCHITECT July 01, 2014


About the Author

Blaine Brownell

Blaine Brownell

Architect and materials researcher Blaine Brownell, AIA, is the author of the three Transmaterial books (2006, 2008, 2010), which provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century, high-tech Grammar of Ornament. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, Blaine researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.



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