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LAVA, Sydney, Australia 
Monday 12 Mar 2012
 
Exploiting nature's structures 
 
 
 
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Award Entry

New intelligent and unique systems of structure that reflect geometries found in the natural environment 

Chris Bosse, Tobias Wallisser and Alexander Rieck founded the Laboratory for Visionary Architecture [LAVA] in 2007 to reposition architecture at the forefront of cultural, technological and social innovation. It was established as a network of creative minds with a research and design focus.

LAVA explores frontiers that merge future technologies with the patterns of organisation found in nature to create a smarter, friendlier, more socially and environmentally responsible future.

The potential for naturally evolving systems, such as snowflakes, spider webs and soap bubbles, for new building typologies and structures informs LAVA projects - the geometries in nature create both efficiency and beauty.

Computation allows LAVA to simulate this natural behaviour of growth and adaptation of species, not as superficial mimicry, but to utilise nature's structural principles, not just its appearance.

LAVA uses the latest parametric design and fabrication tools in response to the questions of the 21st century to create innovative solutions. The ‘Sunflower' umbrellas of Masdar create the first mediated outdoor plaza inhabitable all year in the Middle East whilst a transparent cocoon of fabric mesh, with a minimal surface tension, re-purposes inefficient and outdated buildings by ‘reskinning'.

Architecture of the future is not about the shape but about the intelligence of the system. The intelligence of the smallest unit results in the intelligence of the overall system.

Unique and efficient forms are based on naturals systems - diamonds, snowflakes, corals and soap bubbles. A digital origami emergency shelter flat pack is based on a water molecule, the minimal surface tension skin of Tower Skin, and the fluid people-friendly forms of Future Home and Future Hotel.

LAVA combines digital workflow, nature's structural principles and the latest digital fabrication technologies with the aim of achieving MORE WITH LESS: more (architecture) with less (material/ energy/time/cost). Structure, material and building skin are three areas that LAVA learns from nature. Projects such as Snowflake Tower incorporate intelligent systems and skins that react to external influences such as air pressure, temperature, humidity, solar-radiation and pollution.

LAVA is shaping the future of architecture with its sustainable and carbon neutral projects. Future Home demonstrates how sustainable design is beautiful, efficient and innovative, whilst cost-effective Future Classroom integrates with the school environment, can be prefabricated and mass customised, whilst making learning exciting. Green is definitely the new black.

Whilst LAVA draws inspiration from the synergies of man, nature and technology, the human is the centre of their investigations. Local context drives design solutions - mediated outdoor spaces in sweltering deserts to a glacier inspired hotel in the ice capital of Harbin, to a solar-powered ski run in the desert. Families of ideas evolve, grow and mature like a plant and re-emerge in different iterations - digital origami appears in installations, shop windows, sculptures and emergency shelters. Sometimes the solution is the right answer to a different question but fits perfectly in a different context.

LAVA redefines the way we live through innovative, sustainable solutions, efficient yet beautiful forms, cutting edge design and technology, and human context.

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LAVA
www.l-a-v-a.net

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