Petra Gruber

Petra Gruber
Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG

Dipl.Ing. Dr.techn.

About

67
Publications
86,261
Reads
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654
Citations
Introduction
Dr. Petra Gruber is an architect with a passion for biology and biomimetic design. She holds a PhD in Biomimetics in Architecture from the Vienna University of Technology in Austria and worked internationally in inter- and transdisciplinary design and education, at the intersection of biology, architecture and art.
Additional affiliations
May 2021 - October 2021
Hochschule Rhein-Waal
Position
  • Scientific Collaborator
Description
  • "digibionics" project coordinator
February 2021 - May 2021
University of Akron
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
February 2016 - January 2021
University of Akron
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Biomimicry Innovation Center

Publications

Publications (67)
Article
Today’s architectural and agricultural practices negatively impact the planet. Mycelium-based composites are widely researched with the aim of producing sustainable building materials by upcycling organic byproducts. To go further, this study analyzed the growth process and tested the mechanical behavior of composite materials grown from fungal spe...
Chapter
Über Architektur, KI und Mikrobiologie Co-Corporeality beruht auf der Hypothese, die gebaute Umwelt als biologische Einheit zu begreifen, die einen Raum der Koexistenz und Interaktion zwischen Menschen und mikrobiellem Leben eröffnet. Ausgehend von designgeleiteter Forschung wird ergründet, wie wir Umgebungen für eine Multispezies-Welt entwickeln...
Chapter
Full-text available
In 2018, DI Dr. Petra Gruber from the University of Akron, Ohio, and Dr. Lorenzo Guiducci, from the former Berlin Cluster of Excellence Image – Knowledge – Gestaltung (Bild – Wissen – Gestaltung), in collaboration with Prof. Christiane Sauer organized a workshop entitled Breathing Skins at Humboldt University. In this context, the group tackled som...
Presentation
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J00igLwgnFU
Article
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The traditional architecture of Ethiopia is manifold and spreads over a wide range of climatic zones and topographies, serving a diversity of societies. Within these contexts, the architectural traditions that have emerged show extraordinary quality and adaptability. All basic kinds of building construction can be found in diverse Ethiopian buildin...
Article
Full-text available
The continuous increase in population and human migration to urban and coastal areas leads to the expansion of built environments over natural habitats. Current infrastructure suffers from environmental changes and their impact on ecosystem services. Foundations are static anchoring structures dependent on soil compaction, which reduces water infil...
Article
Evaporative interfaces help process heat and substances in a variety of technical realms, from electronic to architectural applications. Because geometry affects the hydraulics, thermal properties and aerodynamics of evaporative devices, their performance can be tuned through design. While non-smooth interfaces are widely exploited to enhance trans...
Chapter
Despite the growing interest in Africa, the continent’s built environment is still largely unfamiliar in many parts of the world. The seven volumes of the Sub-Saharan Africa Architectural Guide form the first comprehensive overview of architecture south of the Sahara that does justice to the region’s wealth of buildings. In 49 chapters, each focusi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Today's sustainability in architecture takes into consideration the complete life cycle of buildings and their components, from resource harvesting and material production to recycling. In recent years, the concept of living architecture has emerged and seeks to integrate principles of life to architecture to reduce resource consumption. The princi...
Article
Full-text available
Geometry is a determining factor for thermal performance in both biological and technical systems. While biology has inspired thermal design before, biomimetic translation of leaf morphology into structural aspects of heat exchangers remains largely unaddressed. One determinant of plant thermal endurance against environmental exposure is leaf shape...
Article
Due to changing weather patterns, catastrophic natural disasters are expected to happen more frequently and cause dramatic life and economic losses worldwide. The United States experienced a historically high record of weather disasters in 2017, with the economic losses exceeding 300 billion dollars. A major contributor to economic loss and threat...
Article
Full-text available
In many disciplines, professionals are interested in folding patterns for their packing and shape changing capabilities. Many insects have folded wings fitting to their body morphology that can unfold to fly, support their weight and withstand external forces. This paper focuses on the main characteristics emerging from folding patterns inspired an...
Chapter
This proposal is about the design and prototyping of a Living Wall System (LIWAS) as a test bed for integrating concepts from biology into architectural design. The Living Wall is a new way of interpreting a wall system that we use in architecture and building. We try to integrate characteristics of living organisms into the wall design to harness...
Conference Paper
The project Living Wall System (LIWAS) was an experimental design project to generate prototypes of wall systems integrating concepts from biology into architectural design. The “Living Wall” is a new way of interpreting a wall system as we use it in architecture and building. We try to integrate characteristics of living organisms into the wall de...
Chapter
Full-text available
Architecture and biology are fields of high complexity. Generative design approaches provide access to continuously increasing complexity in design. Some of these methods are based on biological principles but usually do not communicate the conceptual base necessary to appropriately reflect the input from biology into architecture. To address this,...
Chapter
Full-text available
Architecture and biology are fields of high complexity. Generative design approaches pro-vide access to continuously increasing complexity in design. Some of these methods are based on biological principles but usually do not communicate the conceptual base necessary to appropriately reflect the input from biology into architecture. To address this...
Conference Paper
In previous projects theromodynamics of plants was identified as an interesting field delivering concept generators for technical, especially architectural application. So leaf morphology is determined by a variety of factors, and also significant for plant water and energy balance. However, how leaf design affects evapotranspiration and, consequen...
Chapter
Full-text available
Increases in computation power have allowed design software to be-come more complex. At the same time, big data and artificial intelligence, ques-tion the traditional tools of the human designer. Morphogenetic prototyping pro-vides a method for designers to control this complexity by separating the design into pseudo developmental stages to enable...
Conference Paper
In previous projects theromodynamics of plants was identified as an interesting field delivering concept generators for technical, especially architectural application. So leaf morphology is determined by a variety of factors, and also significant for plant water and energy balance. However, how leaf design affects evapotranspiration and, consequen...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Architecture and biology are fields of high complexity. Generative design approaches provide access to continuously increasing complexity in design. Some of these methods are based on biological principles but usually do not communicate the conceptual base necessary to appropriately reflect the input from biology into architecture. To address this,...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the approach of biomimetic design in architecture applied to the theme of growth in biology by taking two exemplary research projects at the intersection of arts and sciences. The first project, ‘Biornametics’, dealt with patterns from nature; the second project ‘Growing as Building (GrAB)’ took on biological growth as a specif...
Book
The book explores different pathways of experimenting with biology and architecture in the new field of Living Architecture. It takes architectural visions of a selfgrowing house and looks at growth patterns and dynamics from nature to apply them to architectural visions. The book presents ideas, approaches and concepts for grown structures develop...
Conference Paper
The traditional architecture of Ethiopia is manifold and spreads over a wide range of climatic zones, different topographies and is based on a diversity of societies. Within those different contexts, architectural traditions have emerged that show extraordinary quality and adaptation. The construction of buildings refers to both the natural settin...
Article
Full-text available
The survey of the Al-Nawar house in the old town in Jeddah was carried out in October 2011 as part of the TRABASA project by a team of the Vienna University of Technology (VUT) in cooperation with the King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah (KAU). The Al-Nawar house is a typical building representing the architectural heritage of Jeddah. The methods f...
Article
Der Artikel gibt eine Einführung in das Feld der Architekturbionik und präsentiert zwei Forschungsprojekte der Autorin, BioSkin und Biornametics, sowie die Entwicklung einer Methode des Einsatzes von Bionik als Innovationswerkzeug im Entwurf von Architektur.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Biomimetics is defined as translating good design from nature into technology. As such it has arrived at a stage, where its acceptance as an innovation method is no longer questioned. Beyond technical innovation, looking at principles from nature provides us with insight into deep principles governing life and cohabitation on the planet. The paper...
Book
Full-text available
What is the architect doing in the jungle? How can architects and natural scientists immerge into a fruitful dialogue to generate new insights for cross-disciplinary innovation? The book contributes to the current discussion of arts-based research taking the example of the interdisciplinary research project BIORNAMETICS – Architecture Defined By Na...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The basic research study BioSkin aims at the identification and preparation of potentials from nature for innovative facade technologies of the future. In the study, principles, data sheets of biological role models and biomimetic concepts for key targets such as “lighting”, “cooling”, “heating” or “exchange of gas” have been developed. To investig...
Chapter
Full-text available
The physical installation is the result of the translation of specific principles encountered, analysed and discussed during the research work preceding the actual design project. The installation demonstrates one of the unlimited possibilities of interpretation of a single principle, and is thus closely related to the perception of the executing t...
Chapter
Full-text available
A formal discussion about the ornament might have started with Owen Jones work “The Grammar of Ornament” at the end of the 19th century and Jones becoming a well-known English architect and stylist ‘pro ornament’: “From universal testimony of travellers it would appear, that there is scarcely a people, in however early a stage of civilization, with...
Chapter
Full-text available
The project BIORNAMETICS was a one-year project, scheduled from May 2010 to September 2011. The Austrian Science Fund FWF selected the project together with five others from the 57 entries applying for funding in the arts-based research programme PEEK in 2009.
Article
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Architecture and construction are highly interdisciplinary fields, integrating many professions and many disciplines on different levels of scale and complexity. Studies of natural systems have at all times been inspirational for design. Investigating the overlaps between biology and architecture we find that a biological paradigm inspires the curr...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents an overview of this emerging field, investigating the overlaps between biology and architecture. A brief description of historic developments and classical approaches such as analogy research sets the stage for a strategic search for a new methodology of design. Different methods of biomimetic design are compared with regard t...
Chapter
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This introductory chapter contains a short discussion of the topic of biomimetics with special emphasis on background and goals together with an overview of the book. Biomimetics is described as information transfer from biology to the engineering sciences. Methods and preconditions for this interdisciplinary scientific subject are mentioned briefl...
Book
Full-text available
The purpose of investigating the areas common to architecture and biology is not to draw borders or make further distinctions, or even to declare architecture alive, but to clarify what is currently happening in the overlapping fields, and to investigate the emerging discipline of „biomimetics in architecture" [Architekturbionik]. An overview of t...
Book
The book presents an outline of current activities in the field of biomimetics and integrates a variety of applications comprising biophysics, surface sciences, architecture and medicine. Biomimetics as innovation method is characterised by interdisciplinary information transfer from the life sciences to technical application fields aiming at incre...
Chapter
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In the following, selected examples of a biomimetic approach to architectural research and design carried out by the author will be presented. Together, the case studies show the diversity of possible applications of natural phenomena in architecture.
Chapter
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Considering the many movements in architecture dealing with the topic of nature, three common features can be observed: All movements and approaches relate to life and living organisms Search for form is (still) the most important issue There is considerable confusion in terminology between the disciplines of architecture and the life sciences, bec...
Chapter
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For this interdisciplinary investigation it is necessary to define and describe the fields of both architecture and biology to provide the essential background.
Chapter
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Architects and builders have always drawn inspiration from nature. Countless analogies can be found in the architecture of all ages. The examination and application of nature’s materials, the symbolic or structural transfer of natural form, the interrelation of the edifice with the environment, all these aspects have been considered by builders at...
Conference Paper
Building envelopes made by nature or man are exposed to the same environmental conditions. Hence, the requirements in nature and of buildings are comparable. A study of analogies between natural and technical envelopes promises an overcoming of buildings being an alarming energy consumer with more than 40% of the energy demand in Europe. The resear...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In recent design programs and studies at the TU (Vienna University of Technology) the biological paradigm has been successfully introduced in architectural design. The focus of this paper is on the common analogy between biological skins and technical facades that was investigated in students’ projects at the TU and is now developed further in the...
Article
Full-text available
Biomimetics is a field that has the potential to drive major technical advances. It might substantially support successful mastering of major global challenges. In the first part of the article, the current state of biomimetics is reviewed, and goals and visions of biomimetics are presented. Subsequently, possible biomimetic scenarios to overcome t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Engineers, designers and architects often look to nature for inspiration, aiming at innovation and the improvement of architectural quality. In several design studies, supervised by the author at the Vienna University of Technology in recent years, biomimetics by induction (innovation process starting from a natural phenomenon to an architectural i...
Chapter
Full-text available
Biological processes, structures, functions and materials provide powerful inspiration for novel approaches in architecture. In this chapter, a variety of biological systems are introduced: Bacillus subtilis, the green alga Euglena gracilis, diatoms and red blood cells. Subsequently results of bionanotechnological research performed (by physicists)...
Article
Full-text available
Engineers, designers and architects often look to nature for inspiration. The research on 'natural constructions' is aiming at innovation and the improvement of architectural quality. The introduction of life sciences terminology in the context of architecture delivers new perspectives towards innovation in architecture and design. The investigatio...
Article
Full-text available
Engineers, designers and architects often look to nature for inspiration. The research on ‘natural constructions’ is aiming at innovation and the improvement of architectural quality. The introduction of life sciences terminology in the context of architecture delivers new perspectives towards innovation in architecture and design. The investigatio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Engineers, designers and architects often look to nature for inspiration, aiming at innovation and the improvement of architectural quality. The introduction of life sciences expertise in the context of architecture delivers new perspectives towards innovation in architecture and design. Both architecture and biomimetics are vast fields. The transf...
Article
The study Lunar exploration architecture—deployable structures for a lunar base was performed within the Alcatel Alenia Space “Lunar Exploration Architecture” study for the European Space Agency. The purpose of the study was to investigate bionic concepts applicable to deployable structures and to interpret the findings for possible implementation...
Article
This paper discusses the architectural design project “Transformation Structure Space”, which was carried out at the Department of Building Construction HB2 in 2004. The goal of the study was to find innovative solutions for space system design through the application of bionic (biomimetic) approaches. Using specific research both fields as the fou...
Article
Full-text available
On December 26 th 2004 a major earthquake caused a Tsunami in the region of the Indian Ocean. The epicentre of the quake lay offshore the Indonesian Island of Sumatra close to its neighbouring island Nias. 3 months later Nias was again hit by a series of earthquakes causing death of thousands of people. Besides the human tragedy the earthquake the...
Article
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Copyright © 2 ABSTRACT Engineers, designers and architects often look to nature for inspiration. Nature has perfected its designs through billions of years of evolution, so mimicking its creations is a sure way of producing technologies that are both efficient and reliable. There is nothing new about borrowing design ideas from nature, but now this...

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