Jessica Rosenkrantz

Jessica Rosenkrantz graduated from MIT in 2005 and holds degrees in Architecture and Biology. Afterwards, she spent 2.5 years studying architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Nervous System is a design studio founded in 2007 by Jessica and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg. They work at the intersection of science, art, and technology, and create using a novel process that employs computer simulation to generate designs and digital fabrication to realize products. Drawing inspiration from natural phenomena, Jesse & Jessica write computer programs mimicking processes and patterns found in nature and use those programs to create unique and affordable art, jewelry, and housewares.

Session: Growing Objects

We will discuss our obsession with the way patterns form in nature and our attempts to adapt those methods for design.  What can we learn from the way corals aggregate or leaf veins grow? And what happens when we use computer simulation to play with those mechanisms to make something unnatural?   We then translate these experiments into real products using digital fabrication (3D printing, laser and waterjet cutting, CNC routing, etc).  Combining these two methods, algorithmically generated objects and on-demand manufacturing techniques, we can create one of a kind mass customized designs.

Lab: Making Hele-Shaw Cells

Gallons of glycerin, lots of tubing, large panes of glass, solenoid valves, and an interactive simulation. Through simultaneous physical and digital experiments, we'll explore Viscous Fingering, a fluidic phenomena where intricate branching structures form at the boundary of two fluids. An Arduino powered Hele-Shaw cell machine creates physical compositions of colored viscous fingering patterns, and an interactive phase-field simulation lets you play with process. Learn how to make your own Hele-Shaw cells and some of what is behind the computational model.