Polymers that change their surface topography and/or their porosity in response to a trigger have a wide application potential varying from micro-robotics to energy generation. Preferably the response proceeds fast and reversible with high accuracy. At Eindhoven University we developed new morphing principles based on liquid crystal (LC) networks and liquid crystal (LC) hydrogels. Common triggers are temperature, light, pH or the presence of chemicals or other moisture. In the lecture we will demonstrate that by accurate positioning of molecules in the three-dimensional space of a thin film the deformation figures can be controlled down to micrometer level for the LC networks or nanometer level for the LC hydrogels . The systems based on LC hydrogels typically need the presence of an alkaline solution to provide the desired opening of their nano-pores and enabling selective absorption of species. Whereas systems based on liquid crystal networks can operate under dry conditions e.g. by exposure with light to give fast switching topographical structures.