Materials are the building blocks of everything and smart materials represent an important component of the future of manufacturing and tech crafts. In the spirit of the open source software and hardware movements, the Open Materials group wishes to establish an open process for exploring and sharing knowledge, techniques and applications in materials research. This presentation will go over some examples of smart materials that are already being incorporated into makers' projects, the limitations and issues we currently face in accessing both the materials themselves and information on how to use/make them, and the next steps in making smart materials more accessible to all.
Catarina is co-founder of openMaterials.org, a collaborative project dedicated to do-it-yourself experimentation with smart materials, and altLab, Lisbon’s hackerspace. She has taught numerous hands-on workshops on hi-tech materials and simple circuitry with the goal of encouraging people with little to no science background to take a proactive interest in science, technology and knowledge-sharing. Catarina is wrapping up her PhD dissertation on the social impact of open and collaborative practices for the development of technologies. She is currently a fellow of the National Science and Technology Foundation of Portugal, visiting scholar and adjunct at ITP-NYU, co-chair of the Open Hardware Summit, TED Fellow, member of NYC Resistor, and serves on the board of directors of the Open Source Hardware Association.