Explorative Growth for Art and Architecture

Petra Gruber, Angelo Vermeulen, Ceren Yönetim, Barbara Imhof

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterProfessional

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This chapter describes how architects and artists develop their work through looking at nature and finding role models for proto-architectural applications. Artistic research methodologies are being used to transfer growth strategies in nature into concepts for a new living architecture. The chapter also describes the example of the artistic research project GrAB - Growing As Building, which was conducted between 2013 and 2016 at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna with an interdisciplinary and international team of architects, artists, engineers and scientists. The project was funded through the Austrian Science Fund, a funding institution for fundamental scientific research in Austria. The programme of developing and enhancing the arts is part of the FWF services and represents a unique opportunity to develop research in an artistic context. GrAB emerged from another artistic research project funded by the FWF: Biornametics – Architecture Defined by Natural Patterns explored a new methodology to interconnect scientific evidence with creative design in the field of architecture. GrAB took this exploration further and specifically looked at growing structures with focus themes on explorative growth, material systems, technological transfers and closed-loop systems. The investigations were multifaceted and broad at the beginning and were narrowed down to biological role model research which could be conducted in a biolab established at an art school (Figure 9.1). The slime mould was investigated as part of the theme of explorative structures. Looking at the slime mould through an artistic lens, informed by renowned biologists yielded new insights into the interpretation of its behaviour and proto-applications for architecture and the arts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSlime Mould in Arts and Architecture
EditorsAndrew Adamatzky
Place of PublicationGistrup
PublisherRiver Publishers
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9788770220712
ISBN (Print)9788770220729
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameSeries in Biomedical Engineering
PublisherRivers Publishers

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Arts; Architecture; Slime Mould; Arts and Science


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