In collaboration with SensiLab director Jon McCormack, this research grant explores ways to control and orchestrate biological growth with the aim of reimagining how designers, artists and architects work with nature.
Robotic intervention can be used to alter and direct biological growth in ways that have never before been possible, including the construction of bio-scaffolds, exploitation of tropisms, and cellular 3D printing. This research explores this relationship from a different point of view; fabricating and examining a verity of biodegradable 3d printed scaffolds, experimenting with a range of mycelium mediums (such as pastes, gels and liquids) and allowing the design process to be driven by the organism’s chemical reactions and structural constraints.
This research was conducted through a research grant Supported by the Australian Network for Art & Technology (ANAT) in association with Monash University.
This fusion of biology with digital fabrication is commonly utilised within the biomedical industry. In particular, tissue engineering and the bio-scaffold are prime examples of this relationship between an artificial structure and a living organism. Through robotic intervention, a sense of control and dictation over the organism’s patterns of growth may be achieved. However, what is yet to be explored within this field is the symbiotic relationship and tension between computational design, robotic fabrication and biomaterials.
A thorough-process of sterilisation must occur before implantation
In order to enhance and contribute to the established field of biology, this research project will focus on hacking into an organism’s existing behavioural characteristics and patterns of growth.
3D printing a range of prototypes with biodegradable filaments such as PVA and wood.
Mycelium eating the fibrous properties located in the robotically fabricated material. As a result, the organism adopts any set geometry that is fabricated.
Orchestrated Timeline Of Decay
Researching the existing technologies occurring with the biomedical industry such as tissue engineering and biodegradable scaffolds.
Creating anchor points of insertion within a continuous skin
3D Printing- PLA Scaffolds
Printing Larger scale forms.
Printing time: 65 hours
Filament: Wooden PLA
Dimensions: 25x 20 x 35
BIOLAB is a design studio run and created by Natalie Alima currently offered as Masters studio for Architecture at RMIT at Monash University.
Biolab involves an intensive focus on the symbiotic relationship between biology, computational design and robotic fabrication.
Architecture today is experienced as something static and un responsive. However it is time to take a hint from biology and allow our buildings to grow, adapt and self repair.
This studio will focus on the creating living breathing systems which contribute to its existing habitat by imitating the nano properties and behavioural patterns of nature.
Through robotic intervention, students will be hacking into these systems by choreographing and manipulating the organisms existing patterns of growth. As a result, students will be creating customised living materials that will be applied to the architectural inhabitable scale.
In order to imitate the fibrous properties of a selected living material, students will be designing intricate geometries with complexity and detail; through the use of advanced grasshopper scripting.
As a result, students will be creating living breathing organisms that promote a new approach to architecture and nature.
Student Victoria Puntrurere collecting wild mushrooms for mycelium experiments.
Students of BioLab examining nano qualities of living organism under microscopes.
Allowing the organism’s chemical characteristics and patterns of growth to become a ‘co creator’ with the design process. Resulting in a symbiotic hybrid between computational design, living organism and machine.
Student Project: Elodea_ Victoria Puntrurere
Scripting Architectural skins that vary in porosity, density and scale.
Student: Jean Viljoen
Microbial Fuel Cells
Student cred: Aaron Robinson
Microbial Fuel Cells- Carbon Dioxide + H20 released in order to rejuvenate the soil. Student: Aaron Robinson
Experimenting with a series of cellulose composites. Student: Nick Hushes
Nano Images_ Scoby
Student: Aly Gibbs
Scoby _ Incubation
Student: Nick Hushes
Kambucha + 3D Printed Scaffold.
Student research: Alejandro Martinez
Utilising the organism’s ability to photosynthesise on the architectural inhabitable scale. This design proposal showcases the relationship between living organism and robotic fabrication, by infusing the 3d printed wooden scaffold with moss in order to create an orchestrated process of growth + photosynthesis.
Student: Alicia Clarissa Likito
Moss Building Skin
Intricate bio-scafolld incubating the moss at a 1:1 scale; acting as a secondary building for the NGV.
Student: Alicia Clarissa Likito
Mycelium Incubating the NGV
Mycelium Proposal from the Ngv.
Scaffold utilised as internal tunnels for humans to navigate through.
Student Cred: John Chandler
PhD Candidature Research
Under the supervision of Associate Professor Roland Snooks at RMIT and Prof Jon McCormack at SensiLab, this PhD research focuses on the Symbiotic hybrid between Computational design, Robotic fabrication and Biological organisms.
This research aims to reimagine the possibilities for using biomaterials as a sustainable and biodegradable architectural material. By developing a new design vocabulary and language for co-creation between living organism, human designer and intelligent robotics, the project will advance the current state-of-the-art in hybridised design.
Whilst biomimicry is becoming increasingly popular within the architectural discipline, it is time to advance this field beyond aesthetics and allow the organisms’ natural chemical reactions and growth to direct the design process.
BioHybrids , therefore aims at creating a design language between material and form in order to promote a new relationship between buildings and nature. Large scale fabricated prototypes represent a section of what could be a living, breathing architectural skin in the near future.
Computational processes: material tectonics.
In order to create a sense of orchestrated growth, this process explores a generative ‘co-design’ and ‘co-creation’ between the human designer and living organism. The aim is to showcase techniques where the chemical reactions and scientific properties of the material, drive the design process and overall geometry. Through advanced generative algorithms, these heterogeneous skins will alter in scale, porosity and form, in order to intentionally choreograph the Mycelium’s degradation and fossilisation.
This approach will ultimately open up new possibilities for generative co-design, material aesthetics, sustainability and non-anthropocentric creativity.
Complex Living Structures
By allowing the organisms natural chemical reactions to dictate the design process, a constant evolution of form that intensifies in complexity will be achieved.
Research Through Design
A range of computational experiments that cater to the organism ideal habitat. As the design evolves over time, the form is enabled to gain complexity and detail.
Whilst biomimicry is becoming increasingly relevant within the design industry it is time to advance this field past aesthetics. Rather than mimicking nature’s forms, this research proposal will explore how an organism’s natural chemical reactions and patterns growth may co-direct the design process.
Computationally modelling the mycelium’s patterns of growth and rates of degradation according to each set scaffold.
Material Driven Design processes.
Allowing the chemical reactions of the organism to drive the form finding process and overall geometry.
Mycelium growing through a range of fabricated scaffolds.
XYX Lab—a team of researchers and designers at Monash University in Australia—seek to address the factors that make cities exclusionary and threatening according to gender. “Just So fucking beautiful” is making the whisper tangible. It solidifies the predatory taunt into a palpable manifestation of a felt experience; and in doing so makes real the impact of a city’s capacity for exclusion.
The installation - a hypertext - literally ripples like skin might crawl. It tells a story of female harassment in a public space; an experience shared by over three-quarters of women across the world. “Just so f***ing beautiful” is a whisper—a quiet, but frightening threat—that irreversibly made one young woman reassess her engagement with the city. It is a phrase from one young women’s stalking experience in Melbourne.
The XYX Lab’s installation, titled “Just So F***ing Beautiful”, features in the TIME – SPACE - EXISTENCE exhibition at Venice’s Palazzo Mora, May 26 to November 25, 2018. It is one of the major satellite shows held across the city in the Biennale.
3D printed model of Venice’s Palazzo Mora
Computational algorithm developed in order to represent goosebumps on human skin.