About Tiffany Cheng

Tiffany is a computational designer and builder from Taiwan with a background in architecture and robotic fabrication. Currently, she is a Research Group Leader at the Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD) in Stuttgart, Germany. At the ICD, Tiffany leads the Material Programming research group to develop computational fabrication tools for 4D-printing and programming bioinspired material systems that self-shape like plants.

Tiffany graduated from Harvard University with a Master in Design Studies (Technology). Prior to that, she earned her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California. She has practiced with Studio Fernando Vazquez, designing socially oriented projects ranging in scope and scale from bike facilities to neighborhood recreation centers across the United States and Japan. Tiffany has also worked as a researcher with the MaP+S Group at Harvard GSD, developing novel material-informed digital fabrication strategies for bespoke carbon-fiber systems.


T. Cheng, M. Thielen, S. Poppinga, Y. Tahouni, D. Wood, T. Steinberg, A. Menges, T. Speck: 2023, Entwicklung bioinspirierter und selbstformender Orthesen per 4D-Druck. Orthopädie Technik, vol. 74, no. 1, pp. 40–49. (online)

E. Sahin, T. Cheng, D. Wood, Y. Tahouni, S. Poppinga, M. Thielen, T. Speck, A. Menges: 2023, Cross-Sectional 4D-Printing: Upscaling Self-Shaping Structures with Differentiated Material Properties Inspired by the Large-Flowered Butterwort (Pinguicula grandiflora). Biomimetics, vol. 8, no. 2. (DOI: 10.3390/biomimetics8020233)

T. Speck, T. Cheng, F. Klimm, A. Menges, S. Poppinga, O. Speck, Y. Tahouni, F. Tauber, M. Thielen: 2023, Plants as Inspiration for Material-Based Sensing and Actuation in Soft Robots and Machines. MRS Bulletin, vol. 48, pp. 730–745. (DOI: 10.1557/s43577-022-00470-8)

D. Wood, T. Cheng, Y. Tahouni, A. Menges: 2023, Material Programming for Bio-Inspired and Bio-Based Hygromorphic Building Envelopes. In: J. Wang, D. Shi, Y. Song (Eds.) Advanced Materials in Smart Building Skins for Sustainability. Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 99–112. (DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-09695-2_4)

Y. Tahouni, T. Cheng, S. Lajewski, J. Benz, C. Bonten, D. Wood, A. Menges: 2022, Codesign of Biobased Cellulose-Filled Filaments and Mesostructures for 4D Printing Humidity Responsive Smart Structures. 3D Printing + Additive Manufacturing, vol. 10, no. 1. (DOI: 10.1089/3dp.2022.0061)

T. Cheng, M. Thielen, S. Poppinga, Y. Tahouni, D. Wood, T. Steinberg, A. Menges, T. Speck: 2021, Bio-Inspired Motion Mechanisms: Computational Design and Material Programming of Self-Adjusting 4D-Printed Wearable Systems. Advanced Science, vol. 8, no. 13. (DOI: 10.1002/advs.202100411)

T. Cheng, D. Wood, L. Kiesewetter, E. Özdemir, K. Antorveza, A. Menges: 2021, Programming Material Compliance and Actuation: Hybrid Additive Fabrication of Biocomposite Structures for Large-Scale Self-Shaping. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, vol. 16, no. 5. (DOI: 10.1088/1748-3190/ac10af)

E. Özdemir, L. Kiesewetter, K. Antorveza, T. Cheng, S. Leder, D. Wood, A. Menges: 2021, Towards Self-Shaping Metamaterial Shells: A Computational Design Workflow for Hybrid Additive Manufacturing of Architectural Scale Double-Curved Structures. Proceedings of the 2021 DigitalFUTURES (CDRF 2021), pp. 275–285. (DOI: 10.1007/978-981-16-5983-6_26)

T. Cheng, D. Wood, X. Wang, P. Yuan, A. Menges: 2020, Programming Material Intelligence: An Additive Fabrication Strategy for Self-Shaping Biohybrid Components. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence: Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems [Proceedings of the Living Machines 2020 Conference], vol. 12413, pp. 36–45. (DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-64313-3_5)

T. Cheng, Y. Tahouni, D. Wood, B. Stolz, R. Mülhaupt, A. Menges: 2020, Multifunctional Mesostructures: Design and Material Programming for 4D-Printing. Proceedings of the 5th Annual ACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication (SCF ’20). (DOI: 10.1145/3424630.3425418)

Y. Tahouni, T. Cheng, D. Wood, R. Sachse, R. Thierer, M. Bischoff, A. Menges: 2020, Self-Shaping Curved Folding: A 4D-Printing Method for Fabrication of Curved Creased Origami Structures. Proceedings of the 5th Annual ACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication (SCF ’20). (DOI: 10.1145/3424630.3425416)

S. Kliem, Y. Tahouni, T. Cheng, A. Menges, C. Bonten: 2020, Biobased Smart Materials for Processing via Fused Layer Modeling. AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 2289, no. 1. (DOI: 10.1063/5.0028730)

S. Poppinga, C. Zollfrank, O. Prucker, J. Rühe, A. Menges, T. Cheng, T. Speck: 2018, Toward a New Generation of Smart Biomimetic Actuators for Architecture. Advanced Materials, vol. 30, no. 19. (DOI: 10.1002/adma.201703653)

Press (selected)

2023 — Wiener Zeitung — Modernster Sonnenschutz dank fossiler Kiefernzapfen

2023 — ArchDaily — livMatS Biomimetic Shell / ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart + IntCDC

2023 — DETAIL — Forschungsbau Biomimetic Shell in Freiburg

2021 — Materials Today — Designing 4D-printed self-shaping materials systems

2018 — Produktion — 4D-Druck: Das kann die smarte Technik

2018 — Technologieland Hessen — Rückblick: Holzabfälle als wertvoller Rohstoff

2017 — Huffington Post — Nature Inspires Climate-Friendly Architecture

2015 — ArchDaily — Harvard's Material Processes and Systems Group Investigates Structural Ceramics

2015 — The Harvard Gazette — Finding problems, designing solutions