Adrian Galvin
3 min readDec 11, 2018
transformative lampshade from the Morphing Matter Lab


I’d like to try to kludge together several recent(ish) things in order to think about what smart means in the context of environments. Below are four things: the Morphing Matter Lab Thermorph project, HOK’s drone portable pod hotel, Penda’s expandable bamboo hotel, and WSP’s TetraPod hotel.

I like all of these things because they’re all a bit weird. But I’m actually interested in the idea of weird squared, or how strange can we make things one day and what would that look like?

Intelligence and Movement

What brings these four projects together is movement. Each of the hotels features some kind of interpretation of a moving architecture. Whether it’s expanding and collapsing or literally flying to new and rarified environments, they are each an answer to the question: what if living spaces could move?

I include the Thermorph project because it gives me solid footing to stand on to say that things can get much weirder than the level of crazy that these other admirably strange visions have managed to achieve.

The idea of hotel pods is fine, but I’m thinking about these as models for personal homes actually. If you wanted your home to move, possibly in an intelligent(..?) manner, what would you want it to do?


Perhaps it could burrow underground at night and cover you in layers of soft, audio dampening opaque material to help you sleep. Unfolding and turning transparent in the morning, like an odd flower or seed pod opening in super fast motion.


Or maybe you’re into the lazy and whimsical dirigible home which wafts you to work or school in the morning so that the entire idea of commuting is eradicated from your life. You just wake up, make breakfast and walk straight out of your home front door into your office.


Or perhaps we could have a fully flexible space which could shape itself to any position or arrangement of your body in order to fully enable reading, or viewing, or interaction.

Most of the time, when we talk about something being smart, we mean that has computation involved. But I wonder if movement can’t be a form of intelligence as well. If it is, how do we want our things to move?



Adrian Galvin

design • science • visualization • illustration • jiu jitsu