GrAB team b


Core team:

Barbara Imhof, project lead, architecture, LIQUIFER Systems Group, AT

Barbara Imhof has a background in architecture, having studied at the Vienna University of Technology VUT, Bartlett School UCL, London, and graduated from the Angewandte (Studio Wolf D. Prix). She additionally holds a Master of Science from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France and a PhD in space architecture from VUT in 2006. She taught at the VUT (assistant professor 8 years), the ETH Zürich and amongst others at the Chalmers University in Gothenburg. She combines artistic with scientific education and she has lived in various places in Europe and the U.S.A. where she is integrated into large networks. She founded LIQUIFER Systems Group, a platform of experts from different backgrounds (engineering, science, architecture, design) collaborating on R&D projects. She has led some of these research projects, e.g. "ISS-Sleep-Kit - Design for a sleeping bag for astronauts" and "RAMA – Rover for Advanced Mission Applications". Barbara Imhof also runs her own broadcast in the cultural section of Radio Orange 94.0. Barbara Imhof will take the project lead. She has more than 10 years experience in this position with EU FP7, FFG and Austrian Science Fund (FWF) projects. Further, she has been the project leader of architectural projects and academic teaching projects. She will work in the management position of this artistic research project and also in the project development and outreach section. Recently, she received the Polar Star Award by the Austrian Space Forum for outreach activities in 2011 and the FEM-Tech award for research and technology in 2012.


Petra Gruber, co-project lead, architecture, biomimetics, Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development, Addis Ababa University, ET and transarch office for biomimetics and transdisciplinary architecture, AT 

Petra Gruber gained a PhD in Biomimetics in Architecture in 2008. She has extensive experience in carrying out biomimetic design projects, and has collaborated as a research fellow at the Centre for Biomimetics at The University of Reading, UK, in 2007. She has taught as a guest professor at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, and was Assistant Professor at the Department for Design and Building Construction at the Vienna University of Technology for eight years, where she set up the TU Bionik Center of Excellence. Currently, she works in her own company, transarch, on biomimetic and trans-disciplinary design projects, in collaboration with an international network of scientists. She teaches Biomimetics in Energy Systems at the University of Applied Sciences in Villach, Austria, at the Department for History of Architecture and Building Archaeology at the VUT and internationally in lectures and workshops. Petra Gruber will be deputy for this project. She will be responsible for the Biomimetics part of the project, enabling cooperation with scientists and consultants and accompanying the innovation process. She has published the book "Biomimetics in Architecture: Architecture of Life and Buildings" in 2011 and edited Biomimetics: Materials Structures, Processes with Springer Verlag and edited a special section on bioinspired architecture and construction in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics Volume 7 Number 1, March 2012. Since 2013, she is Visiting Professor for Architectural Design at EiABC, Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Waltraut Hoheneder, architecture, design, implementation, LIQUIFER Systems Group, AT 

Waltraut Hoheneder is an architect, product designer and researcher with a diverse educational background including a diploma in architecture at the Academy of Applied Arts Vienna, Prof. W.D. Prix and a diploma in International Business Studies at the Vienna University of Economics and Business as well as several years of Product Design Studies at the Academy of Applied Arts, Prof. M. Thun. Her professional experience ranges from market research studies at Fessel+GfK to design responsibilities within large-scale projects at COOP HIMMELB(L)AU like BMW Delivery Center,Munich or JVC Entertainment Center, Mexico. As co-owner and co-manager of LIQUIFER Systems Group her recent work concentrates on conceptual research and development projects in the field of technological and demographic changes and their potential for future societal developments. Her special interest focuses on transformable minimal spaces and related product design.


Damjan Minovski, architecture, programming

Damjan Minovski studied Architecture in the studio of Wolf Prix at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. He was tutor for programming and rapid prototyping in different studios. Since his graduation in 2011 he has worked as freelance visual artist, producing architectural visualizations for renowned architecture offices like Asymptote and Coop Himmelblau. Since 2012 he is part of the architecture collaborative SeMF focusing on Mapping and Fabrication in the context of architecture.


Viktor Gudenus, mechatronics, robotics 

Viktor Gudenus studied Mechatronics/Robotics at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum-Wien in Vienna. During his studies he attended biology classes at the University of Vienna. His Master Thesis was conducted at UC Berkeley's Poly-PEDAL Lab as a Marshall Plan Scholar, where he researched the integration of Lizard locomotion in robotics. Viktor is currently applying for PhD programs in the USA and will joint the project in a 20 hour capacity for one year. He will be responsible for the information management and will give valuable input to the project with his broad knowledge in technology and biomimectics. Furthermore, he will assist in oranizational and other supportive matters.


Tanja Oberwinkler, biology, biomimetics

Tanja Oberwinkler is a microbiologist with a special focus on biomimetics. She graduated in Genetics and Biotechnology at the University in Salzburg, Austria in 2006 and gained a PhD in Biochemistry at the University in Munich, Germany in 2011. In her PhD thesis she investigated microbes thriving in extreme habitats distributed all over the planet with special emphasis on metabolism. Additionally she holds a Master of Science in Biomimetics in Energy Systems from the University of Applied Sciences in Carinthia, Austria. She has worked with the NASA Ames Institute in California, USA in 2006 holding a Planetary Biology grant, and studied one semester in Iceland at the University of Reykjavik, where she also worked as a trainee at the company Prokaria. Currently, she is employed at the medical device company Panaceo coordinating research studies on human applications of the alumosilicate zeolite. In the GrAB project Tanja Oberwinkler will research biological and biomimetical questions and take part in workshops, publications and the Biolab.


External consultants:

Julian Vincent, biology, biomimetics, University of Oxford, Department of Zoology, UK 

Julian F.V. Vincent is a biologist who has pursued the topic of biomimetics especially in materials science since 1968 when he started his career at the University of Reading, UK. He carried out research and taught as a Professor at Reading and the University of Bath, UK, at the Centre for Biomimetic and Natural Technologies, Department of Mechanical Engineering. He was part time lecturer at the Royal College of Art & Design and Imperial College London until 2010. He has extensive experience in the field and worked in many interdisciplinary contexts, such as mechanical engineering, materials science, architecture, design, creativity, biology, materials, food physics, food texture. He is, and has been, a member of numerous scientific and advisory boards. He cofounded the Centres of Biomimetics in Reading and Bath and is President of the International Society for Bionic Engineering. Currently he is Honorary Professor of Biomimetics at Bath, Special Professor in the Dept. of the Built Environment at Nottingham and Scientific Advisor of the company Swedish Biomimetics 3000. In the GrAB project he will act as a scientific expert delivering input on natural growth principles, biomimetics and materials science. 

Thomas Speck, biology, biomimetics, University of Freiburg, Botanischer Garten, Plant Biomechanics Group, DE 

Thomas Speck is a biologist who specialised in Biomimetics and Biomechanics of Plants. Since 2001 he is full professor at Freiburg University (D) and Director of the Botanical Garden, where he works with a research group and international partners from academia and industry on different projects in biomimetics, bio-inspired materials and surfaces, biomimetics in architecture, methods of biomimetics, biomechanics and functional morphology, and other fields. He has published widely and is co-founder and member of many biomimetics societies, among others he is board member of the German Biokon network and Deputy Director of the Freiburg Centre for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies (FIT). He holds various patents and received innovation prices for his work. Thomas Speck will act as scientific expert delivering information on plant growth, biomechanics and biomimetic transfer. 

Angelo Vermeulen, ecology, art, Delft University of Technology, Participatory Systems, NL

Angelo Vermeulen is a visual artist, biologist, space researcher, and community organizer. His original PhD training in biology plays a crucial role in his art. Vermeulen creates art installations that are often open, experimental setups that incorporate ecological processes and living organisms. 'Biomodd' is Vermeulen's most well-known and longest running project. It is a worldwide series of cross-cultural, symbiotic installations in which ecology, social interaction and game culture converge. In 2009 he launched 'Space Ecologies Art and Design (SEAD)', a platform for artistic research on the architectures and ethics of space colonization. He is a Lecturer at Sint-Lucas Visual Arts Ghent in Belgium, a 2010 TED Fellow, and a 2012 Michael Kalil Endowment for Smart Design Fellow at Parsons in New York. In the GrAB project he will set up and manage the Biolab and will participate in the workshops. 

Greg Lynn, Insitute of Architecture, University of Applied Arts, AT 

Greg Lynn is founder of Greg Lynn Form, Los Angeles. He graduated from Miami University of Ohio with degrees in both architecture (Bachelor of Environmental Design) and philosophy (Bachelor of Philosophy) and later from Princeton University where he received a graduate degree in architecture (Master of Architecture). He received an Honorary Doctorate degree from the Academy of Fine Arts & Design in Bratislava. Greg Lynn has been at the cutting edge of design in both architecture and design culture in general when it comes to the use of the computer. The buildings, projects, publications, teachings and writings associated with his office have been influential in the acceptance and use of advanced technology for design and fabrication. Greg Lynn has taught throughout the United States and Europe. He is currently University Professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. In addition, he is the Davenport Visiting Professor at Yale University and a leading Research Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prof. Greg Lynn will support the project and will give feedback and input during the project. 

Bence Bap, Maja Ozvaldic, Insitute of Architecture, University of Applied Arts, AT

Bence Bap and Maja Ozvaldic are currently teaching at Studio Greg Lynn. They will support the project with the preparation of the workshops at the angewandte.

Student researchers:

Andreas Körner (March 2014 - Sept. 2014)

Andreas Körner is currently enrolled in the MArch programme at University of Applied Arts Vienna Studio Greg Lynn. Previously he has studied at Vienna Technical University from where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Architecture in 2013. Andreas gained professional experiences in the fields of design and architecture throughout internships at Studio Lovegrove London and soma-architecture in Vienna/Salzburg.

Rafael Sánchez Herrera (March 2014 - April 2015)
Rafael Sánchez studied Architecture and Industrial Design at the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia and holds a Master of Sciences from the Programme in Urban Strategies, studio Excessive, University of Applied Arts in Vienna. He also has practical work experience through his work in architecture offices as Designer and Architect for eco-sustainable building projects.

Ceren Yönetim (March 2014 - August 2015)

Ceren Yönetim is currently enrolled in the Master of Architecture in the Studio of Greg Lynn and the painting studio of Emma Rendl Denk at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Before, she studied at the Vienna University of Technology in the Masters Programme of Architecture. Ceren holds a Bachelor degree in architecture from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul, Turkey (2011). She has been accumulating professional work experience in several offices in Istanbul such as Teget Architecture, Mimarlar Tasarim, Atolye K, Istanbul and at the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). In 2013 she participated in the architectural performance of Ecological Ballet at MAK NITE Lab with Marie Lichtenwagner with their kinetic project "intelligent building skin". At present Ceren works as a freelance architecture designer for housing projects.

Laura Mesa Arango (October 2014-April 2015)
Laura Mesa studied Architecture at the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia and holds a Master of Sciences in Urban Strategies, studio Excessive, University of Applied Arts in Vienna. She is currently enrolled in the Doctoral Programme of Architecture at the University of Innsbruck. She has worked in the fields of architecture and urban planning in different offices and also as independent architect in Colombia. 

Mariya Korolova (May - November 2015)

Mariya Koroleva has a master in architecture and structural engineering from the Pgasa University in Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine. Currently, she is studying in the master programme of architecture in the studio of Zaha Hadid at the University of Applied Arts. Mariya has been working in various architecture offices in the Ukraine and has founded her own design office 'Digital Architects' with her colleague Atanas Zhelev.

Atanas Zhelev (September - November 2015)
Atanas Zhelev is an architect graduate and designer from Bulgaria. He completed a Bachelor in Architecture and Civil Engineering at the Tokyo University of Science in Japan. He is currently studying in the studio Zaha Hadid for his Master of Architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria. Atanas Zhelev worked at Kengo Kuma Associates and Archicomplex in Tokyo, Japan and has recently established his own design studio Digital Architects.

Ioana Binica (May and June 2015)

Ioana Binica holds a diploma in architecture from the University of Architecture and Urbanism Ion Mincu in Bucharest, Romania. Further, she is a licensed architect in Romania. Ioana has started a master in architecture in the studio of Zaha Hadid at the University of Applied Arts which she currently pursues in the studio of Hani Rashid. Ioana spent one year as an Erasmus student in Thessaloniki, Greece and has also aquired work experience from various offices in Romania.

Alexander Nanu (June and July 2015)

Alexander Nanu studies architecture in studio of Hani Rashid at the University of Applied Arts. He has been working for various architecture and multi media offices for example for SOMA, Vienna and Wide Shot, Vienna.

Mohammedneja Shikur (May 2014 - July 2014)

Mohammedneja Shikur received his Bachelor's Degree in Architecture in 2013 at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mohammedneja participated in the architectural research projects “Bamboo as a construction material” and “Alternatives for Dire Dawa city center development” conducted at the institute of Architecture. He also has gained professional experience in the fields of architecture and construction in several offices in Addis Ababa such as MAT consulting architects, Biniyam Ali consulting architects, BET architects, AEON architects as well as with many private projects.