How Biology Will Impact the Future of Architecture

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Architectural Digest

The concept of architecture being inspired by biology isn’t new, whether that’s the ancient Greeks and Romans incorporating leaf motifs into the friezes of their structures, the entire Art Nouveau movement, or Frank Lloyd Wright’s obsession with softening (or erasing) the divide between his buildings and their landscapes. “This history, however, is largely a conceptual one, drawing on the metaphors, knowledge structures, and imagery of biology but rarely engaging the actual research protocols of biology or understanding buildings as living biological objects,” writes David Benjamin, founding principal of The Living, a New York–based design firm, in the new book Now We See Now: Architecture and Research by The Living ($40, Monacelli Press). The publication presents the firm’s projects and research that investigate how biological processes can be used in generative, or software-guided, design. Here, we look at five prototypical projects from the book that are opening new doors for how we approach biology in architecture.

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