Biotecture @ Central Academy of Fine Arts Art Museum Beijing

Recent developments such as Internet of Things, Big Data, Machine Intelligence and Precision Farming will algorithmically organize life, including urban nature. These developments in technology and media are supporting the emergence of a new hybrid architecture, a BioTecture, where Nature and Architecture fuse.

Lectures & Discussions
25-26 November 2017
DeTao Masters Academy
Central Academy of Fine Arts Art Museum (CAFA)
Beijing Visual Art Innovation Institute

@ CAFA Art Museum
no 8. Hua Jia Di Nan Jie, Chaoyang District, Beijing, P.R. China


Consciousness Reframed is a forum for trans-disciplinary inquiry into art, science, technology, and consciousness.

How far have we come in exploring consciousness: in what ways is our curiosity reflected in our art? Have our digital systems learned to feel? Does the computer exhibit emotional intelligence?

Whilst science fails to provide any understanding of how consciousness arises, or where it is located, the artist seeks every way to navigate Mind, and explore its domains. In the process, our digital technology may come to call for the enhancement of chemistry.

Can we expect robots to access new forms of thought and awareness? Will the scenarios of Artificial Reality elicit new mental states, and evince new qualities of being? As we increasingly recognize how intelligence pervades every aspect of nature, can we empower architecture to access the field of consciousness: can we grow buildings that think, feel and communicate? Can we design the temperament of products?

These questions form the background to the conference of artists, scholars, scientists, and engineers that will constitute Consciousness Reframed Conference 2017.


The lecture discusses how the Internet of Things is merging with green urban infrastructures, creating conscious architectures. The lecture is based on recent projects of Hybrid Space Lab that connect technology, the urban environment and nature.

Recent developments such as Internet of Things, Big Data, and Machine Intelligence will algorithmically organize life, including urban nature. These developments in technology and media are supporting the emergence of a new hybrid architecture, a BioTecture, where Nature and Architecture fuse.

The coming together of the Digital Age with the challenges of the Urban Age (the largest part of humanity living in urban settlements) is summarized under the notion Smart City. As information-communication networks become ubiquitous in the Internet of Things (IoT), Smart City applications are developed with the goal of improving urban management, allowing for real time responses to urban challenges.

We are experiencing accelerating transformation processes driven by developments such as urban growth and demographic explosion and climate change as well as by technological acceleration with ubiquitous digitalization. The accelerating growth of megacities worldwide demands for optimization of limited resources in limited space as well as for the integration of many separate technical resources into one sustainable system of urban metabolism. The increasing complexity of the global challenges demand for trans-disciplinary approaches.

Today’s agriculture is pioneering ‘smart’ developments (just to mention some aspects such as robotics and autonomous driving on farms, drones and satellite monitoring or transponder-implants). With the help of green infrastructures, precision farming methods are informing Smart City development and enabling NatureTecture, a hybrid architecture integrating nature in built environment.


During the lecture, a series of Hybrid Space Lab projects are presented as representatives of the contemporary trend of a ‘hybrid’ architecture, incorporating vegetation in built environment, fusing nature and architecture into NatureTecture:

“KOSMOS” is an innovative flexible transparent structure, a greenhouse-pavilion as a ‘Vertical Oasis’ with a vertical tropical garden. “KOSMOS” is developed for the “Museumsinsel” in the center of Berlin; its building typology being proposed as an infrastructure for the New Silk Road as well as for dense urban tissues in Asia cities.

A similar flexible greenhouse system applied to compounds enables the larger integration of green into dense urban situations: “BioBubble” is a new urban typology, an integral element of a Smart Eco-City transformation, an integrated solution for developing healthy urban environments in eco-friendly cities. As an ‘Integrated Urban Biosphere’, “BioBubble” deals with arid climates and extreme temperature changes, creating comfortable climate conditions. It contributes to energy and water savings and addresses environmental and food security challenges while purifying the city’s air, food, and water. Supporting intelligent water management is very relevant for arid climates; facilitating vertical farming it is of great relevance for megacities.

Both projects are Green Infrastructures enabling the integration of nature into built environment: BioTecture integrates the Biological and the Digital in architecture, enabling buildings to “grow, think, feel and communicate”, accelerating architecture into the post-biological era.

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