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LIQUIFER Systems Group Gmbh

Obere Donaustraße 97/1/62

1020 Vienna / Austria

T +43 1 21885 - 05

F +43 1 21885 - 056

UID: ATU66426405




Architecture Defined by Natural Patterns





Funded by FWF – the Austrian Science Fund (in frame of PEEK 2009)

Research Institution

University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria, Prof. Greg Lynn

LSG Team

Barbara Imhof, Waltraut Hoheneder

Core Team

Petra Gruber, transarch, Vienna, Clemens Grünberger, Vienna


Centre for Biomimetics, Reading, UK; Institute of Microengineering and Nanoelectronics (IMEN), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia), Malaysia; Institute of Applied Physics, University of Technology, Vienna


This arts-based research project sought to discover the ‘New Ornament’ through means of emerging design practices based on digital techniques. The instigation was rooted in the historical context of Adolf Loos’s seminal text ‘Ornament and Crime’ and challenges the notion with ‘biomimetics [bionik].

Biomimetics [Bionik] is the strategic search for models, systems, processes and elements that exist in nature in order to inform new design principles.

Models from nature are perceived as intrinsically efficient and intelligent and are emulated in design practices for innovation purposes.  The hypothesis underlying this strategy is that living nature has evolved in a process of continuing adaptation to a complex changing environment and that the exploitation of highly optimized solutions is likely to deliver innovations that provide more intelligence and better efficiency than our standard models.

Our research investigated the static and dynamic patterns (e.g. growth principles, movement patterns, adaptation and differentiation as key for the emergence of patterns, etc.) found in nature and attempts to interconnect the scientific evidence with creative design in the field of architecture.

Processes of designing architecture and producing architecture were developed as the technique of the ‘New Ornament’ through digital operations is achieved using algorithmic programming and code.

Our main objective was to explore aesthetic and functional possibilities for a new architecture. All scales of existence were probed to inform our biomimetic design principles in our search for the ‘New Ornament.’