Self-Healing Polymer

“This makes the most sense for smaller products with nick-prone surfaces. Such coatings might be a harder sell for architecture if there’s a significant premium. I could imagine them used for exterior treatments on heavily populated buildings. One interesting contradiction is that UV light activates the healing process, for it is typically UV light that creates paint degradation in the first place.”

Paper Stronger Than Iron

“This is quite an interesting development and one of several recent ‘nano-miracles’ that represent amazing breakthroughs at tiny scales in a lab—but which pose challenges in scalability for now. One potential use in architecture would be in lightweight fabric structures. Depending on how the material holds up at a significant scale (and if it can be made water- and UV-proof), it would be interesting as a building enclosure—and would give Shigeru Ban more ideas for paper structures.”

Invisible Walls

Invisible Buildings /apr/10-metamaterial-revolution-new-science-making-anything-disappear

“We have many decades to go before anything like Harry Potter’s cloak can be achieved. Even then, I think invisibility will be achieved in ‘shades’ of visibility that are better or worse, depending on available lighting conditions and user distance. Also, it will come at an unfathomable cost, when one considers the countless, precisely arrayed optical structures required. [The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] likely has more ideas for applications than architects, but surveillance, maintenance, and beautification are high on the list.”