The goal of eSkin is to explore materiality from nano to macroscales based upon an understanding of the dynamics of human cell behaviors. Since the official public launch in the fall of 2010 of our National Science Foundation (NSF) Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Science in Energy and Environmental Design (SEED) project titled, Energy Minimization via Multi-Scalar Architectures: From Cell Contractility to Sensing Materials to Adaptive Building Skins, we have led a team of architects, graduate architecture students and researchers in the investigation of biologically-informed design through the visualization of complex data sets, digital fabrication and the production of experimental material systems for prototype speculations of adaptive building skins, designated eSkin, at the macro-building scale. Our project contributes to an area within architecture called adaptive architecture while also presenting a unique avant-garde model for sustainable design via the fusion of the architectural design studio with laboratory-based scientific research.


eSkin / Jenny E. Sabin and Andrew Lucia (architecture), Cornell University; Shu Yang (materials science), Jan Van der Spiegel & Nader Engheta (electrical and systems engineering), Kaori Ihida-Stansbury, Peter Lloyd Jones (cell biology), University of Pennsylvania

Sabin Design Lab @Cornell Architecture
Principal Investigator: Jenny E. Sabin
Design Research Team: Andrew Lucia (Senior Personnel), Simin Wang, Giffen Ott

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation, Science in Energy and Environmental Design, and is jointly housed at the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University.