Jamming Bodies

Jamming Bodies Laboratory is a collaboration between Lucy McRae, Skylar Tibbits and MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab exploring pneumatic and jammable architectural skins and their potential applications in the future of health, fitness and morphable architectures. ‘Granular Jamming’ is a process by which disordered materials can reversibly switch between liquid, solid, and semi-solid states.

Commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture, JB1.0 transformed the gallery into a two month usability lab to evaluate the implications that self-reconfiguring and jammable materials have on the feeling, behavior and physiology of the body. This film loosely narrates McRae and Tibbits’ first iteration of the research on the scalability of granular jamming. 

The installation at the Storefront gallery required the reciprocal action between the human body and the membranes to observe variables such as tunable stiffness or compression(for sportswear/physiological applications) or to question the scale and morphability of structures that can change form and density, on demand.

Lucy McRae and Skylar Tibbits with Pollyana Whitman and MIT's Self-Assembly Lab: Jared Laucks, Athina Papadopoulou, Dimitris Mairopoulos, Jaskirat Randhawa, Sulaiman Alothman, Lina Kara'in, Kate Weishaar.

Jamming Bodies is the third in a series of projects commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture with the support of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Program. The grant supports collaborations that produce innovative work between individuals across disciplinary fields.