MIT Media Labâ€™s Mediated Matter Group had an interesting project involving insects, specifically silkworms. The intention was to explore how our process of digital fabrication compares to that of nature's. The researchers created a main structure out of 26 polygonal panels formed using silk threads laid down by a CNC machine.
At the base of the structure, 6,500 silkworms were laid, who began enclosing the gaps. They created a three-dimensional large-scale cocoon of different degrees of density. They created a structure that is usable by both insets and humans. You can see in the video below the process in which the structure was created.
One of the most interesting parts of the project is the fact that the insects were never 'told' what to do; it was simply in their nature to begin building. Without a map or any form of guidance, they worked like machines, computing information on surfaces and assessing the job needed to be done.