The merits of a novel lattice material with real-time architecture against shock and impact dynamic events are demonstrated. The current investigation is inspired by a growing interest in smart materials with programmable response that offer a wider set of functionalities compared to traditional or engineered multi-functional materials with unvarying mechanical behavior in response to stimuli (e.g. strain, strain rate, temperature). The proposed lattice is comprised of a tessellation of unit cells with programmable binary response obtained via a real-time change in the nodal connectivity of the unit cells, resulting in a behavior that can change at the unit cell level from a soft bending dominated response to a stiff and strong stretching dominated response. At the macroscopic material level, selective actuation of the unit cells allows a real-time ‘hybrid’ response, which can vary from an entirely bending dominated response to one which is entirely stretching dominated. Finite element dynamic simulations are used to characterize the mechanical behavior of the introduced materials against shock and impact, and topology optimization simulations are employed to obtain the optimal pattern of hybrid architecture. Various objectives relevant to protection or reaction against a projectile impact have been considered, including i) minimizing the value of transferred stress from the hybrid protective structure to the protected substrate, ii) minimizing the reaction force exerted to the projectile, iii) minimizing the projectile penetration depth, and iv) absorbing the kinetic energy of the projectile such that it does not bounce back off of the protective structure. Our preliminary results show that a hybrid structure can significantly outperform both uniformly bending and stretching dominated lattices in most of the aforementioned metrics.