Circular City + Living Systems Lab

January 2, 2018

Review of Built to Grow: Blending Architecture and Biology


The emerging discipline of biomimetics converges biology, chemistry, and engineering to offer a scientific approach to bio-inspiration. It develops methodologies for the in-depth analysis of nature to derive technological advances.1 In the field of architecture, biomimetic research primarily has the potential to contribute to the design of innovative building systems and structures, such as efficient structural support, facade systems, shading systems, natural ventilation systems, and composite materials, to advance the performance of buildings.2

Built to Grow: Blending Architecture and Biology, edited by Barbara Imhof and Petra Gruber, bases its biomimetic research on studies of natural growth patterns examined in a biology lab. The goal is to translate the findings into “living” architecture, which aspires to adapt to its environment and to advance the architectural vision of “growing” a structure rather than building it. In this pursuit, the book merges established life science, technology, applied research, and design integration into a highly inspirational and educational resource for architects and designers.


Proksch, Gundula. 2018. “Review of Built to Grow: Blending Architecture and Biology.” Technology|Architecture + Design 2 (1): 118–19.