Book cover image
  • Andrea Ling
  • Riverside Architectural Press
  • Print, 17pp, 2019
  • ISBN 978-1-988366-18-0

Biopolymers for Responsive Architecture

Rethinking Firmitas

This folio presents the results of a series of chemical experiments for creating bio-polymers that might be developed as architectural building materials. By working with biologically derived materials the experiments explore the possibility of an architecture based on a dynamic system of decay and renewal as a means to longevity rather than solidity and durability of construction.

Organic materials such as casein, chitosan, cellulose and pectin decay more quickly than traditional construction materials, but what they lack in robustness and solidity, they make up for in resilience, flexibility and accommodation. Their fragile mutability presents an opportunity to rethink what can be made durable and what is maintained. Could we rethink the concept of fimitas not as a static condition of robustness, but as a dynamic state, based on many weak redundant members that are dependent on renewal for longevity? can we support an alternative mode of design practice where the process of making things is not only consumptive but also provisional and that works in symbiosis with natural systems rather than trying to subjugate them?


Published as part of the LASG Folio Series, a collection of short-format publications by LASG researchers and contributors.

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