In this Article, we report on our approaches to creating responsive hydrogel coatings with surfaces that can be switched between a close to flat state and a state with a predesigned topographic pattern. The trigger is either temperature or, indirectly, light. The hydrogel coatings are based on the known thermal responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) utilizing its solubility change at its lower critical solution temperature (LCST) at around 32 °C. Using this material in combination with controlled cross-linking, we developed three fabrication strategies. Thermally switching symmetric surface topographies were created by careful and spatial control of the cross-link density. Sensitivity to light was created by patterns of tin oxide converting absorbed light into local heat. And to broaden the application range, we introduced a method based on volumetric effects created by a corrugated substrate. The latter method allows for the formation of asymmetric or slanted surface structures.