Flexible Forms

Flexible Forms examines and generates modular platforms to enhance product development adaptability and consumer engagement.

Various mechanically dominant entities, such as vehicles, are optimized by fully integrating functional components into their form. While this architecture serves well for efficient commodity, it often results in an overly constrained artifact and many times discourages necessary flexibility for variety, customization or modification. By instead redistributing functional components in modular platforms - flexible forms - it becomes possible to provide products with enhanced adaptability.

For developers, modular product grammars may enhance a product's value chain in multiple stages and standardized interfaces can enable greater outsourcing to multiple suppliers,

while at the same time, manufacturers and distributors may offer more product variety and gain greater abilities to mass customize their products. Flexible Forms focuses on providing additional comprehensive open technologies to explore viable shifts in manufacturing and enable further user engagement.

Flexible Forms embodies a number of research projects that focus on implementing modularity in multiple stages of a product's life-cycle:

PowerPods: compact compatible modular energy systems

FitBricks: smart interchangeable fitness equipment components

AutoBlocks: modular systems for light electric vehicles

William Lark Jr., PhD Candidate, Smart Cities Group, Media Lab