Studio One 2017-2018

Bio-inspired Design and Fabrication

Studio One Bio-Inspired Samples

Bio-inspired imagagery from the Studio One Program

Studio One is a one-year post-professional program for students with an accredited Bachelor of Architecture degree. A two-semester studio course makes up the core of the program intended for those interested in exploring innovative and experimental design issues through a research-oriented and multidisciplinary approach. It is supplemented by seminars, lectures, and workshops in architectural design, engineering, and natural sciences with the opportunity to take electives at the College of Environmental Design. Students who complete the program will receive a post-professional Master of Architecture degree.

Building on the positive experience of the previous year, Studio One will once again have the theme Bio-inspired Design and Fabrication and be directed by Assistant Professor Simon Schleicher. The goal of the studio is to pioneer a new design approach that arises from knowledge and experience of multiple disciplines and to deepen our newly established collaborations with academic and industry partners. Studio One seeks to forge interdisciplinary and cross-professional alliances to provoke a novel design paradigm based on the integration of multifaceted methodologies and informed processes. The main focus in this respect will be on re-examining and merging the areas of biomimetics, computational design, structural analysis, material-based fabrication and construction.

The studio will follow an inquiry-oriented, experiment-based, and project-driven research agenda. Based on an intensive, critical, and analytical approach to cutting-edge design and construction methods, the studio aims to go one step further by taking inspiration from flexible and resilient structures found in nature. By closely investigating biological role models in the plant and insect world for their efficiency and adaptability and by abstracting their underlying construction principles into suitable architectural systems, the studio will challenge our present understanding with new bio-inspired fabrication and construction concepts. Studio One students will design and fabricate models and large-scale demonstrations that showcase the potential of biologically informed design concepts that anticipate a new foundation for lightweight, multifunctional, and sustainable architecture.

About Assistant Professor Simon Schleicher:

Simon is an architectural designer, researcher, and educator from Germany. He is a member of a new research team Design Innovation from Nature.

Simon aims to transfer bending and folding mechanisms found in plant movements to elastic systems in architecture In his research on bio-inspired compliant mechanisms. He was project manager for the first ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010, which won the DETAIL prize and was nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award. With his work, Simon has won further awards including the Gips-Schüle-Forschungspreis, the International Bionic-Award, the Ralph Adam Cram Award, the Imre Halasz Thesis Prize, the British Institution Award, and the Pininfarina-Förderpreis. During his study, Simon was recipient of a Merit-Based Full-Tuition Scholarship at MIT and received grants from the DAAD and from the prestigious German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes).