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Tiffany Cheng

M.Des (Technology), B.Arch

Research Group Leader | Material Programming
Institute for Computational Design and Construction
2017 - Current


Keplerstraße 11
70174 Stuttgart


Tiffany is a computational designer from Taiwan with a background in architecture and robotic fabrication. Interested in the intersections between computation, materials, and robotics, her research focuses on the creation of digital workflows that allow mass-customization of material properties, behavior, and performance.

At the ICD, Tiffany leads the Material Programming Research Area as the Research Group Leader. Her team develops computational fabrication processes for programming biobased materials, investigates self-shaping behaviors inspired by plants, and deploys responsive structures across scales, from self-adjusting wearables to self-forming building components and self-regulating facades.

Tiffany defended her PhD at the University of Stuttgart. Prior, she earned her Master in Design Studies (Technology) from Harvard University and her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California. She has practiced with Studio Fernando Vazquez, designing projects ranging from transportation hubs and bike facilities to architecture and interior design 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.

Doctoral Research: Material programming for 4D-printing: Architected mesostructures for bio-inspired self-shaping

  1. Cheng, T., Thielen, M., Poppinga, S., Tahouni, Y., Wood, D., Steinberg, T., Menges, A., Speck, T.: 2023, Entwicklung bioinspirierter und selbstformender Orthesen per 4D-Druck. Orthopädie Technik, vol. 74, no. 1. [Online]. Available:
  2. Sahin, E.S., Cheng, T., Wood, D., Tahouni, Y., Poppinga, S., Thielen, M., Speck, T., Menges, A.: 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)
  3. Speck, T., Cheng, T., Klimm, F., Menges, A., Poppinga, S., Speck, O., Tahouni, Y., Tauber, F., Thielen, M.: 2023, Plants as inspiration for material-based sensing and actuation in soft robots and machines. MRS Bulletin. (doi: 10.1557/s43577-022-00470-8)
  4. Wood, D., Cheng, T., Tahouni, Y., Menges, A.: 2023, Material Programming for Bio-inspired and Bio-based Hygromorphic Building Envelopes. In: Wang, J., Shi, D., Song, Y. (Eds.) Advanced Materials in Smart Building Skins for Sustainability. Springer Nature Switzerland AG, 1st ed. (doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-09695-2_4)
  5. Tahouni, Y., Cheng, T., Lajewski, S., Benz, J., Bonten, C., Wood, D., Menges, A.: 2022, Codesign of Biobased Cellulose-Filled Filaments and Mesostructures for 4D Printing Humidity Responsive Smart Structures. 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. (doi: 10.1089/3dp.2022.0061)
  6. Cheng, T., Thielen, M., Poppinga, S., Tahouni, Y., Wood, D., Steinberg, T., Menges, A., Speck, T.: 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)
  7. Cheng, T., Wood, D., Kiesewetter, L., Özdemir, E., Antorveza, K., Menges, A.: 2021, Programming material compliance and actuation: hybrid additive fabrication of biocomposite structures for large-scale self-shaping. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, vol. 16, no. 5. (doi:
  8. Özdemir, E., Kiesewetter, L., Antorveza, K., Cheng, T., Leder, S., Wood, D., Menges, A.: 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)
  9. Cheng, T., Tahouni, Y., Wood, D., Stolz, B., Mülhaupt, R., Menges, A.: 2020, Multifunctional Mesostructures: Design and Material Programming for 4D-printing. Symposium on Computational Fabrication (SCF ’20). (doi: 10.1145/3424630.3425418)
  10. Cheng, T., Wood, D., Wang, X., Yuan, P., Menges, A.: 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)
  11. Kliem, S., Tahouni, Y., Cheng, T., Menges, A., Bonten, C.: 2020, Biobased smart materials for processing via fused layer modeling. AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 2289, no. 1. (doi: 10.1063/5.0028730)
  12. Tahouni, Y., Cheng, T., Wood, D., Sachse, R., Thierer, R., Bischoff, M., Menges, A.: 2020, Self-shaping Curved Folding: a 4D-printing method for fabrication of curved creased origami structures. Symposium on Computational Fabrication (SCF ’20). (doi: 10.1145/3424630.3425416)
  13. Poppinga, S., Zollfrank, C., Prucker, O., Ruehe, J., Menges, A., Cheng, T., Speck, T.: 2018, Toward a New Generation of Smart Biomimetic Actuators for Architecture. Advanced Materials, vol. 30, no. 19. (doi: 10.1002/adma.201703653)

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Institute for Computational Design and Construction

University of Stuttgart, Keplerstraße 11, 70174 Stuttgart

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