Nervous System Designers Join Over MAD IAP

Over Independent Activities Period, (Jan 8–Feb 2, 2024), the MIT Morningside Academy for Design will offer several workshops around Textiles, Portfolios, Making, and Climate. Nervous System, a generative design studio that works at the intersection of science, art, and technology, will join the fun to offer a “Building Complex Curvature from Flat Sheets” workshop.

Dec 22, 2023

MIT alumna Jessica Rosenkrantz '05 and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg are the co-founders of Nervous System, a generative design studio that works at the intersection of science, art, and technology. “Founded in 2007, it has pioneered the application of new technologies in design, including generative systems, 3D printing, and webGL.”

Corollaria Gyroid by Nervous System Design Studio.
Photo: Rebecca Miller for Nervous System

We create using a novel process that employs computer simulation to generate designs and digital fabrication to realize products. Drawing inspiration from natural phenomena, we write computer programs based on processes and patterns found in nature and use those programs to create unique and affordable art, jewelry, and housewares.

Over MIT's annual Independent Activities Period (IAP), the pair will join MIT MAD to offer a week-long workshop allowing students to make a large aluminum sculpture. By joining Building Complex Curvature from Flat Sheets, participants will learn what curvature is and how it applies to materials, while laser cutting metal and using a rivet gun.

Rosenkrantz and Louis-Rosenberg describe the workshop as follows:
“In this workshop, you’ll learn how to construct surfaces with complex curvature from flat materials like paper, wood, or metal. Normally, flat sheets can only bend in one direction making so called 'developable' surfaces with zero Gaussian curvature. We will use custom computational design tools to contort these materials into highly curved surfaces without any forming or creasing. Over the course of the week we will learn how these tools work, design some demo parts, and then as a group construct a large sculpture using these techniques. The sculpture will be constructed from dozens of laser cut panels connected by rivets which we will be cutting, finishing, assembling, and then installing on campus.”

We created Nervous System to explore a design approach that relates process and form in a context of interactivity and openness. Our trajectory focuses on generative design methods using both algorithmic and physical tools to create innovative products and environments.

Check out all of our 2024 MAD IAP activities.

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