A mosaic of pastel tiles.
Andrew Ridley on Unsplash

Programmable materials

From 'programmable materials' that can self-assemble into new shapes after they are fabricated—in response to temperature, light, pressure or other external stimuli—to smart coatings and labels that can store and communicate information without an external power source, the manufactured and built world is increasingly embedded with human-made components that are no longer inert but can act and react. These materials provide new capabilities to assemble structures and engineer urban systems that are more useful, energy efficient, safe, secure, and possess other desirable characteristics. Most importantly, however, materials will generate, carry, and share a rich stream of data about their origins, uses, impacts, and reuses.

Going forward, this means that as everything becomes programmable the interweaving of wild and well cities will often begin at a molecular scale, as nanomaterials and other intelligent structures operating at very small scales do our bidding while providing a data platform for reducing the harms that past approaches relying on chemical and physical interventions caused.

Source: vttresearch.com