Architectural Biomimetics

Evolutionary processes in nature generated manifold solutions towards elementary architectural tasks like materialization of form and adaptation to external stimuli. Similarly to the architectural design and production process, various functional and form generative aspects have to be integrated into a coherent system. Despite these parallels natural organisms are working radically different from todays construction and planning practice. While nature evolved highly energy and material efficient solutions, based on fundamental principles like functional integration by geometric and material differentiation, todays construction industry and design processes are mostly based on the standardization of elements and the addition of mono functional subsystems.

Recent developments of computational design and digital fabrication processes have initiated a fundamental paradigm shift from industrial production towards integrated design processes. This development opens up the possibilities to create architectural systems which are characterized by multifunctional geometrically differentiated structures, which can match the capacity of natures performative morphologies, and thereby enables us to transfer functional principles of natural organisms into architectural applications.
The Seminar will focus on the investigation, abstraction and transfer of biological strategies into technical applications.

Students will work in interdisciplinary teams to either investigate biological role models within an bottom up process or will search for solution strategies, by exploring natures rich repertoire of role models within a top down process. Computational tools and simulations will be used to find model representations for biologic processes and investigate functional principles. The Seminar will be closely related to the Performative Morphology design studio and therefore focus on the investigation of natural plate structures. Seminar hours are organized in blocks and excursions which are coordinated with the design studio schedule.