Saurabh Mhatre — Space-saving Deployable Mechanisms
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Listen to Saurabh Mhatre — Space-saving Deployable Mechanisms · 47 min

Hello, and welcome to The Getting Simple Podcast. In this episode, Saurabh Mhatre (@sm8928) talks about the simplicity behind deployable systems, the chaos of taking pictures, mindful photography, material science, social media, productivity tools, and more.

Saurabh grew up and studied architecture in Mumbai. He holds a Master in Design Studies with a focus on technology from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he currently explores how flat deployable mechanisms can morph into three-dimensional shapes with minimal actuation, to enable ephemeral uses of mundane items and facilitate their storage and shipment, as part of his research at the Material Processes and Systems (MaP+S) Group.

He enjoys working with people from different disciplines, ranging from biological engineering to material science, and works across multiple material scales, from the nano-scale of medical devices to large form-factor of deployable shelters.

Saurabh also shares with us his love for photography, how he interacts with social media, and what productivity tools help him keep track of his work.

You can find Saurabh on Facebook, his photos on Instagram (@sm8928), and his most recent work at

Episode Notes

  • The Material Processes and Systems (MaP+S) Group, led by Professor Martin Bechthold, is a research unit that promotes the understanding, development and deployment of innovative technologies for buildings. [2:00]
  • The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) is the engineering school within Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering and applied sciences. [2:35]
  • The Wyss (pronounced /viːs/ "veese") Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering is a cross-disciplinary research institute at Harvard University which focuses on developing new bioinspired materials and devices for applications in healthcare, manufacturing, robotics, energy, and sustainable architecture.
  • Saurabh's current research on deployable mechanisms at different scales, flat objects that can morph into three-dimensional shapes with minimal actuation. [06:10]
  • What other projects would you like to work on if you had the time? [12:45]
  • Are there new materials or mechanisms (widely known in research labs in Cambridge) that will hit the market in the next years? [13:23]
  • Masala Chai is Saurabh's morning to-go drink. [17:08]
  • Differences between living in Mumbai and living in Cambridge. [18:45]
  • "The way photography for me started." [21:35]
  • Adobe Lightroom is a photography editing desktop app part of Saurabh's editing workflow. [22:45]
  • Evernote is a note-taking app. [31:45]
  • Toggl is a time-tracking tool. [33:08]
  • Digital toolbox. [36:10]
  • Visualizing Architecture by Alex Hogrefe. [36:24]
  • Contact staff and flow arts. [40:05]
  • Meditation, reiki, and art of living. [40:40]
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty's soundtrack by Jose González, who is also the singer of Junip. [45:45]

Thanks for listening!

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July 1, 2018