Growing As Building

May 2013 – February 2016
Research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) as part of PEEK 2012

GrAB takes growth patterns and dynamics from nature and applies them to architecture with the goal of creating a new living architecture. The aim of the project GrAB is to develop architectural concepts for growing structures. Three main directions are investigated: transfer of abstracted growth principles from nature to architecture, integration of biology into material systems, and intervention of biological organisms and concepts with existing architecture. Key issues of investigation are mechanisms of genetically-controlled and environmentally-informed, self-organized growth in organisms, and the differentiation of tissues and materials.


Research institution  University of Applied Arts, Vienna

Project managers  Dr. Barbara Imhof, Dr. Petra Gruber

Core team  Dr. Barbara Imhof, Prof. Petra Gruber, Waltraut Hoheneder, Damjan Minovski, Viktor Gudenus, Dr. Tanja Oberwinkler, Andreas Körner (until October 2014), Rafael Sanchez, Ceren Yönetim, Laura Mesa

Extended team  Prof. Julian Vincent, Prof. Thomas Speck, Dr. Angelo Vermeulen

Collaborating institutions  University of Bath, Biomimetics, Mechanical Engineering, UK / University of Freiburg, Botanical Garden, Plant Biomechanics Group, DE / Delft University of Technology, Multi Actor Systems Department, NL / Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development, ET / transarch office for biomimetics and transdisciplinary architecture

Image credit: GrAB