music as fibre design
February 5, 2014 3:15 PM   Subscribe

Beautiful music makes better materials "It is not the building block itself that is limiting our ability to create better, more durable or stronger materials, but rather our inability to control the way these building blocks are arranged. To overcome this limitation, I am trying to design new materials in a similar way to nature. In my lab we are using the hidden structures of music to create artificial materials such as designer silks and other materials for medical and engineering applications. We want to find out if we can reformulate the design of a material using the concept of tones, melodies and rhythms. Can a composer come up with a radically different approach to design?"
posted by dhruva (8 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

"Oh honey, that dress just sings on you!!"
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:33 PM on February 5

This is great, as a matter of fact I was just thinking about buying an aria rug.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:34 PM on February 5 [13 favorites]

So, this stuff is synthesized, not organic?
posted by Chuffy at 4:06 PM on February 5

If you design the material using a minimalist composition, you end up with a very long, very narrow white scarf.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:10 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]

If you design the material using a minimalist composition, you end up with a very long, very narrow white scarf.

Actually, I could see Philip Glass making an Oratorio out of knitting patterns. And I can see myself listening to it.
posted by yoink at 4:12 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]

I love music and science and this makes absolutely no fucking sense to me.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:13 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

The vague sense of something that they appear to be focusing MIT research money on, at least in composition, is called unity and variation. It's the game composers play to provide repetition (unity) of a form, and then right when you're about to get bored, bring in variation. Too much variation can tax your attention, so then it's time to bring in some unity.

That's the interplay seen between the A and B proteins. It's also been shown to correlate well to Pink noise (also called 1/f noise).

In my opinion, the article and the video seem to go out of their way to make it seem mystical.
posted by hanoixan at 6:15 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]

They investigated music in a flat key, which generated this.
posted by Kabanos at 1:45 PM on February 6

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