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28 July 2020


Growing structures:
bioinspired innovation insights for architecture and robotics

Venue: web workshop
Website: LM2020-workshop


Barbara Mazzolai

Director, Center for Micro-BioRobotics
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Thomas Speck

Head, Plants Biomechanics Group
University of Freiburg

Mirko Kovac

Director, Aerial Robotics Lab
Imperial College London
United Kingdom


During the last decades, the fields of architecture, materials, and robotics have been increasingly enriched by the use of biomimetics and bio-inspired design. The fundamental paradigm is that key features of a large variety of organisms, such as hierarchical structure, growth and adaptation, can be exploited for inspiring the design of innovative sustainable materials, structures and robots. In the era of digitalization, artificial intelligence and automation, robotics, biomimetic design, and architecture are getting closer. In robotics for example, plants and animals have inspired the design of soft, multi-functional, adaptable, self-growing robotic structures, and the coordination of collective robots for autonomous building or repair. At the same time, architects are more and more interested in integrating robotic fabrication methods, additive manufacturing technologies, dynamic energy-efficient mechanisms, and robotically-augmented architecture, where constructions can adapt and evolve with the surrounding environment, and last but not least can be built in an energy and material efficient way.

At the interface of biomimetics, biorobotics, and architecture, this satellite event will bring together material scientists, biologists, bioroboticists, civil engineers, and architects to present the latest innovations and trends for future sustainable building construction and maintenance.

Cross-disciplinary talks will show: the form-structure-function-relationship on various hierarchical levels of biological materials and structural systems; growing and building strategies in plants and animals; plant-inspired technologies for adaptable and growing robots; biomimetic and biorobotics architectural installations and buildings; and the social implications of innovative technologies for creative arts, cultural heritage, and digital humanities. Moderated by the organizers, speakers and participants will discuss major perspectives and roadmaps, current international initiatives and projects relevant to the future urban sustainable innovation.

List of speakers

(coming soon)

Agenda of the event

(coming soon)

FET Proactive: emerging paradigms and communities
Research and Innovation Action Grant agreement n. 824074