Have been reading a book (LifeSize) about rapid research / prototyping. They provide instructions for creating a programmable screen that detects motion. They are using flexinol wire and a microprocessor attached to the computer via USB. The level of movement possible is limited but the possibility of constructing a working model is kind of exiting. We are not necessarily interested in motion activated arch. but these elements could probably achieve more.
(you can download as ppt if you follow link to slideshare)