Our research is focused on the non-equilibrium self-assembly of micron size “colloidal” building blocks, which consume energy. It is experiment and curiosity-driven and explores the emergent properties in dissipative systems. The general theme of the research in the group is Soft Matter with an active twist: How can one change the behavior of microparticles by powering them? It is basically the translation to soft matter of the condensed matter “pump-probes” experiments. We use active particles (in place of lasers) to “poke” a system and study its response or steer its behavior.