Growing Architecture – Microalgae as new material for our urban landscape?

A major challenge architects and designers are facing today is the revision of our use of building materials. The content of the debate here is not only the search for alternatives for sustainable and climate-neutral construction, but also the question of whether our buildings can still be seen as an opposition to “nature”, or whether the building itself should not rather be seen as an approximation to biological organisms. Can we let our own buildings grow?

During the block seminar, the students of our chair for Digital and Experimental Design at the University of the Arts in Berlin gained a first insight into the experimentation with algae-based materials. New approaches were developed to move from the microorganism to experimental surface treatments for use in architecture. Our method was a combination of the application of biological materials and robotic technology. Is it possible to develop systems that consist of biological material and are also a self-growing component of surface design?

A seminar by Rasa Weber (MA Designer; rasaweber.com), Sven Pfeiffer and Christian Schmidts (University of Arts, Digital and Experimental Design).

An  introduction to the topic was given by the managing director of the MINT Institute for the Application and Research of Microalgae, Gunnar Mühlstädt (mint-engineering.de).