R&D: Adaptive Fritting – Harvard GSD

Adaptive Fritting™ (Harvard GSD)

Harvard University Graduate School of Design | 2009 | Adaptive Fritting™

The Adaptive Building Initiative, with design assistance from Hoberman Associates, created for Harvard University Graduate School of Design a dynamic installation that premiered ABI’s original invention, Adaptive Fritting™

Adaptive Fritting™ builds on the practice of standard fritting with the addition of real-time dynamic motion via motorized control. The installation at Gund Hall uses six motorized Adaptive Fritting™ panels, comprising a 1.2m by 7.2m window, housed within a curved wall. These panels are programmed to form a dynamic field where light transmission, views, and enclosure continuously adapt and change. As the panels transform, the visual effect is of sparse dots blossoming into an opaque surface.

Winner of the Wyss Prize for Bioinspired Adaptive Architecture, the installation was commissioned for a joint exhibition and conference entitled “Ecological Urbanism: Alternative and Sustainable Cities of the Future.”


  • 8.6 sq. meters of adaptive surfaces
  • Dimensions: 1.2m x 7.2m
  • Materials: Acrylic, Aluminum
  • Control System: Each panel driven by a servo motor with custom array control
  • Number of operable units: 6

Source: Harvard GSD