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The goal during last semesters Architecture Design Studio was to learn from one of the great Masters of Architecture from the 20th Century. They were the avant-garde of their time and advanced the architectural discourse with the Modern movement. Frank Lloyd Wright was one of these Masters, he believed in a philosophy known as Organic Architecture that defined how buildings should share a relationship to the idea of Nature in regards to site, materials, and design.

Above is considered to be the epitome of the Organic Architectural movement, Wright’s masterpiece commonly referred to as Fallingwater. Below is my project inspired by his design and philosophy but adapted to a new context and era of technology. I wanted to take Wright’s principles to a new extreme by projecting his planar characteristics using new age materials and engineering. For me the project was about studying history as theory and applying it into the present as practice.

This project known as ‘The Five Pillars of Bawadi’ was done by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and it outlines how skyscrapers are unsustainable in desert climates like Dubai. Glass facades in direct sunlight result in massive amounts of energy lost to cooling. By harking back to the roots of the vernacular architecture that once existed in the region and merging it with the skyscraper typology, BIG proposes a canopy like structure that allows for glass facades while keeping them away from

direct sunlight. Zoning laws and access requirements mean strange chunks of the block is carved away to reveal a five pillared building. The work emphasises how form can be designed coexist with nature to provide more energy efficient solutions. It also shows how parameters like zoning, structure and access can be interpreted as positive drivers for design rather than limitations of design.

“There is a world of beauty and efficiency to be explored here, using nature as a design tool.” Michael Pawlyn is the Director of ‘Exploration’, a group whose focus is on Sustainable Architecture using Biomimicry. Biomimicry involves the study of nature’s organisms and systems to provide solutions to human issues.

Pawlyn was central to The Eden Project (pictured below) that was produced using inspiration from nature. The structure was inspired by carbon molecules using hexgons and pentagons and composed of a high strength polymer that spans further and weighs much less than glass.

The result is a building that is extremely light, allows for economic savings in the foundation system, and maximum use of sunlight. When calculated, the weight of the superstructure was less than that of the air within the building. This shows how ideas from nature can provide us with more efficient and importantly, resourceful solutions that are necessary for any vision of a sustainable future.


This installation was done by Zaha Hadid Architects in the Moore Building of Miami back in 2005. The project is known as ELASTIKA and is an attempt to push the envelope on design, creating a dynamic tension between the more traditional Cartesian layout. The intent was to express a new understanding of architecture, geometry, materiality, and structure. The form was generated using a NURBS surface modeller. In order to manufacture the design, it had to be sculpted by a CNC milling machine. These new techniques of computation design have opened architects to the realm of digital generative modelling and digital fabrication through “file-to-factory� processes.


Pictured is the Gwanggyo Power Centre by Dutch Architects, MVRDV. The firm is renowned for their use of datascapes in generating architectural design. Simply put, the form is driven by factors such as programme, light, ventilation, heat gain, economic constraints, city regulations, energy constraints. This is a modern approach to design thinking that moves away from “making form” to “finding form”. Datascaping is facilitated through parametric modelling that allows for factors, which were short listed above, to be quantified and used to drive an architectural design.


This is a project by Joseph Choma called CATASTROPHE that is a concept proposal for a gas station. Choma utilises biomimicry as a tool to resolve design issues. Scripting becomes the genetic code of the design allows mutation into architectural form. He first critiques the gas station typology on its consistent symmetrical form thawt is not responsive to its environmental context. Adaptability to context allows for more sustainable outcomes that are conscious to passive and solar heat gain, as well as rainwater collection and irrigation. Some spatial requirements of the gas station informed his decision to mimic the structure of a butterfly with its good wing to body ratio.


The choice of a butterfly to drive his design is clever because it offers a structural solution to create a large canopy/wing span with a relatively small structure. The complex algorithms result in an array of mutations that satisfy spatial constraints along with more ambitious features such as a water collective green roof. The design is intended to create a “exhilarating and graceful” which is rather elaborate and over the top when you consider its building type. This begins to move away from a functional design philosophy is simple and relevant, as is in nature.