Skylar Tibbits at MIT and others have shown how 3D printed multimaterial components can change shape — that is, 4D printed components — in response to changes in temperature invoked by a change in temperature brought on by water, an excellent heat transfer fluid. While the contexts in which his 4D printed components change shape were non-realistic, in tanks, this offers the possibility of using existing plumbing fixtures in architectural spaces, hot and cold water, routed accordingly, to change the shape of printed components.
Instead of being hidden behind opaque walls, these plumbing fixtures that actuate shape change could be highlighted and visible, as in the Centre Pompidou:
The routes can be designed to supply different water qualities to the different facades. The north facing facade is routed by hot water, leading to one configuration. The south facing facade is routed by cold water, leading to another configuration.
Here, the routing of hot water pipes to the 4D printed facade can be seen: