Built to Grow
Blending architecture and biology

Book launch 6 November, 2015, 6 pm, AIL – Angewandte Innovation Laboratory

Final day exhibition 13 October – 7 November 2015


Built to Grow investigates growth patterns and dynamics from nature and applies them to architecture with the goal of creating a new living architecture. Specific biological processes are presented in-depth to identify principles of growth and translate them into exemplary architectural ideas and visions. This artistic research project comprised an interdisciplinary team from the fields of architecture, biology, art, mechatronics and robotics.

Opening remarks: Alexander Damianisch 

Panel discussion: 6 November, 2015, 6 pm

- Gabriele Gramelsberger, philosophy, media cultures, Leuphana University Luneburg, Advanced Studies on Media Cultures of Computer Simulation
- Julian Vincent, biology, biomimetics, University of Oxford, Department of Zoology, UK 

Moderation: Barbara Imhof


Venue: AIL – Angewandte Innovation Laboratory
Franz Josefs Kai 3, 1010 Vienna, Austria


about the book >>> published at Birkhäuser 


Built to Grow
Blending architecture and biology

Edition Angewandte, book Series of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, edited by Gerald Bast, Rector

Institute of Architecture IoA


The book explores different pathways of experimenting with biology and architecture in the new field of Living Architecture. It takes architectural visions of a self-growing house and looks at growth patterns and dynamics from nature to apply them to the architectural visions. The book presents ideas, approaches and concepts for grown structures developed by an interdisciplinary team from the fields of architecture, art, biology, robotics and mechatronics. The core part of the book establishes the relevance of this 2,5 years artistic research work. This includes hands-on experiments in a Biolab with biological role models such as the pathfinding slime mould, mycelium structures and metabolic systems around a novel 3D mobile printer. Excerpts from a conversation among different experts about agency, emergence and resilience and a discussion about the immanent values and ethical aspects of this research are reflected to contextualize the work within our world of change.


Barbara Imhof, Petra Gruber

Rachel Armstrong
Barbara Imhof
Petra Gruber
Julian Vincent
Angelo Vermeulen
Thomas Speck
Waltraut Hoheneder
Viktor Gudenus
Tanja Oberwinkler
Damjan Minovski
Ceren Yönetim
Linnea Hesse
Jochen Leupold
Stefanie Schmier
Sandra Eckert
Marco Caliaro
Georg Bauer

Contributing authors
Rafael Sanchez Herrera
Laura Mesa Arango
Andreas Körner
Mohammedneja Shikur
Mariya Korolova
Atanas Zhelev
Ioana Binica
Alexander Nanu

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