The future of architectural design

Visionary technology promises breakthroughs in engineering and robotics

Date published: 2011-12-19 12:00:00 PM

"What I love about Philip’s work is the way he’s breaking down the hard line between the built and the natural environment, creating spaces that are permeable, changeable, and, well, responsive."
—Nora Young, CBC Radio: Spark, July 20, 2010

In 2010, a SSHRC-funded project by University of Waterloo architecture professor Philip Beesley was chosen to represent Canada at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, a prestigious, international exhibition that brings together leaders in architectural design from all over the world.

Beesley’s project, Hylozoic Ground, is a life-like environment that responds to the touch and movements of the people within it. It also captures carbon from the air they breathe out and, through a chemical reaction with water, turns the carbon into new building materials.

It’s a visionary technology that could one day allow buildings to repair themselves, and is leading to new breakthroughs in environmental engineering, sustainable design, and robotics. Already, two paint companies are interested in using Beesley’s technology, and a permanent installation of Hylozoic Ground has been commissioned for The Leonardo, Salt Lake City’s new art and technology museum.

Watch the video Philip Beesley: Hylozoic Ground on YouTube