Combining Digital and Ecological Design

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Design through botanical geometry

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Mathias Højfeldt Nielsen

Mathias Højfeldt Nielsen.

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Combining digital and ecological design 01

By introducing a new fabrication system of building elements, the concept of planting, growing, and harvesting facade elements is born.

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New fabrication system of building elements

The focus of Mathias Højfeldt Nielsen's thesis project is to explore the possibilities of combining digital and ecological design methodologies in an approach towards a solution to reduce the impacts of human caused climate changes.

Published
28.07.2016

We continue our series of graduation project with graduate architect Mathias Højfeldt Nielsen from Aarhus School of Architecture:

The core value of ecological architecture and design is the understanding of the natural world we live in and why it is crucial to coexist on every level to eventually survive.

By introducing a new fabrication system of building elements, the concept of planting, growing, and harvesting facade elements is born.

The design and fabrication concept derives from the botanical principle of leaching, grafting, and shape-bending plants into a desired geometry. The qualities of the full grown facade system are not limited to absorbing and sequestering CO2 and emitting O2, the elements also provide controllable shading values, strong integrated joints, variable expression from season to season, and they offer intriguing aesthetic complexity.

The project investigates every step of the novel building element; from digitally designing the geometry, simulating the embedded properties, planting the elements, digital manipulation, and fabrication, to finally implementing the system on a building scale.

The focus of Mathias Højfeldt Nielsen’s thesis project is to explore the possibilities of combining digital and ecological design methodologies in an approach towards a solution to reduce the impacts of human caused climate changes. The building industry is one of the larger emitters of CO2 on a global scale; in the process from excavation of building materials to deconstruction of buildings, huge amounts of energy and chemicals are used.