Biological Systems: Outcomes in Architectural Design Studios

William Ward, Robert George Cameron, Lauren Kronemyer, Kirill de Lancastre Jedenov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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This conference paper is the second of two papers that discuss the outcomes of a long‐term pedagogical research project into the integration of interdisciplinary design‐research, and making practices into the content of second‐year architecture studios. This paper focuses on one studio involved in the design of biological systems. The studio introduced students to the socio‐cultural and bioethical dilemmas that arise when using living organisms as a design material. Students were required to create a biological system using traditional design materials and Physarum Polycephalum, a harmless, yellow single‐celled organism capable of solving complex mazes and which grows up to 30cm in length. Through the design, prototyping, and testing of these systems students are encouraged to learn through practice, developing their projects iteratively while being critical of the implications of their actions. Through a discussion of the studio aims, structure, project examples, and outcomes, this paper outlines an initial approach to teaching biological design within a studio context. Along with the paper on Responsive Systems these works highlight the importance of critical engagement with materials and processes and of opening up future architectural pedagogy to new fields of exploration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBack to the Future: The Next 50 Years
Subtitle of host publication51st International Conference of the Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA)
EditorsMarc Aurel Schnabel
Place of PublicationNew Zealand
PublisherVictoria University of Wellington
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780992383541
ISBN (Print)9780992383541
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event51st International Conference of the Architectural Science Association - Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 27 Nov 20172 Dec 2017


Conference51st International Conference of the Architectural Science Association
Abbreviated title(ANZAScA)
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


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