GrAB - Growing As Building

GrAB - Growing As Building  takes growth patterns and dynamics from nature and applies them to architecture with the goal of creating a new living architecture. The aim of the project GrAB is to develop architectural concepts for growing structures. Three main directions will be investigated: transfer of abstracted growth principles from nature to architecture, integration of biology into material systems and intervention of biological organisms and concepts with existing architecture. Key issues of investigation will be mechanisms of genetically-controlled and environmentally-informed, self-organised growth in organisms and the differentiation of tissues and materials.

Growth will be explored from three perspectives:

The first approach is a biomimetic transfer: biological growth principles will be studied and abstracted for application in architecture. In order to make use of the life sciences information it has to be transferred into a technical, architectural language. Simulations and physical models will be used to mimic and understand processes, and to develop architectural interpretations. Those can include material systems in analogy to those developed by Achim Menges[1] at the University of Stuttgart but in a dynamic way.

Secondly, biological organisms will be integrated in the growth of architecture. Here, the leading question is how biological systems can become integrated material systems in architecture, or can deliver new processing technologies. Ginger Krieg Dosier's work on biocementation is an example of biotechnological processing of building materials. The process behind their innovative new brick is known as microbial-induced calcite precipitation, or MICP, and utilizes microbes on sand to "glue" the grains together using a chain of chemical reactions instead of the conventional energy wasting burning procedure.[2]

Thirdly, the potential of adding organisms to existing architecture will be explored. These are meant as interventions redirecting the functioning of existing structures and modifying their resilience. This perspective questions how layers of living organisms can purify air, strengthen structures and in general integrate new functionalities. 

Image is from the post Abstraction of good design from nature

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