Perfect Red

Photo: Tangible Media Group / MIT Media Lab

Perfect Red represents a clay-like material preprogrammed to have many of the features of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software. Perfect Red is a fictional material that can be sculpted like clay—with hands and hand tools—and responds according to rules inspired by CAD operations, including snapping to primary geometries, Boolean operations, and parametric design. When Perfect Red is rolled into a ball, it snaps into the shape of a perfect sphere (primary solids). When two pieces are joined, Perfect Red adds the shapes to each other (Boolean addition). Perfect Red also has other behaviors inspired by parametric design tools: If you split a piece in two even halves, then the operations performed on one part are mirrored in the other. And much like CAD software, Perfect Red can perform detailed operations using splines projected on the surface of solids. To cut an object in half, for example, all that’s needed is to draw a line along the cut and tap it with a knife. Splines and parametric behaviors can also be carried out: If you want to drill 10 holes, you simply draw 10 dots and stick a pin into one of them.

Exhibition: Nikolaos Vlavianos, Hiroshi Ishii

Research: Leonardo Bonanni, Hiroshi Ishii, Austin Lee, Paula Aguilera, Jonathan Williams