Doris Kim Sung is a biology student turned architect interested in thermo-bimetals, smart materials that respond dynamically to temperature change.

Why you should listen

Architect Doris Kim Sung asks: Why can't building materials be more adaptable? Why can't they function more like clothing, or even human skin? Having studied biology at Princeton University intending to go to medical school, Sung applies principles of biology to her work as an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Southern California. She explores architecture as an extension of the body, challenging the notion that buildings ought to be static and climate-controlled. Rather, they should be able to adapt to their environment through self-ventilation. In November 2011, Sung exhibited her art installation "Bloom" in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. The installation is 20 feet tall and made with 14,000 completely unique pieces of thermo-bimetal, a smart material made of two different metals laminated together. This metal is dynamic and responsive, curling as air temperatures rise, resulting in a beautiful sculpture that breathes.

Doris Kim Sung’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Doris Kim Sung


Four very fresh ideas about air conditioning

October 25, 2012

[ted id=1598] Air conditioning used to be a luxury — but as Doris Kim Sung points out in this talk from TEDxUSC, modernized society has become thoroughly air-conditioning reliant. This is largely a problem of materials, says Sung, a professor at the USC School of Architecture. Many new buildings — especially skyscrapers — are built […]

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