The Bartlett School of Architecture


The Bartlett Research Conversations

12 March 2019, 4:00 pm–7:00 pm

Speculative Siliceous Scaffolds, Photo Credit: Nina Jotanovic

MPhil/PhD student Nina Jotanovic discusses her research on augmentation

Event Information

Open to





Jakub Owczarek – Teaching and Learning
020 3108 9336


The Bartlett School of Architecture
22 Gordon Street
United Kingdom

Biogenic Architecture – Augmenting Materials through the Growth of Biomineralized Veneers

Nina Jotanovic

Supervisors: Professors Marcos Cruz and Marc-Olivier Coppens

Materiality has always driven advances in architecture. Its importance spans from physical properties and mechanical performance to personal impression of a space. Last century brought many advances in material science and created a vast array of synthetic materials for architectural use. But the majority of these materials have two limitations that need to be addressed.

Fabrication processes include harsh conditions — extreme ph levels, high pressure and/or high temperature. This increases atmospheric carbon-dioxide and contributes greatly to global warming. We are in a moment where consequences of rise in temperature are tangible and it is a critical time to find novel routes to sustainable material fabrication. Additionally, a majority of the synthetic materials exhibit a lack of ‘character’ when compared to natural ones and as such are not able to contribute in a meaningful way to sensorial experience of the space.

New processes of material creation are crucial to address both challenges. In nature biomineralization creates materials at ambient temperatures and with exquisite perceptual and performative properties. Adopting principals of biomineralization in the lab can shift our methods from synthesising to growing while creating a new generation of materials able to actively participate in Earth cycles and engage with users.

About The Bartlett Research Conversations

The Bartlett School of Architecture’s Research Conversations seminars comprise work-in-progress and upgrade presentations by students undertaking the MPhil/PhD Architectural Design and MPhil/PhD Architectural and Urban History and Theory. All current UCL staff and students are welcome to attend.

Held regularly throughout the academic year, the seminars are attended by the programme directors, Professor Jonathan Hill and Professor Ben Campkin, PhD Coordinators, Dr. Nina Vollenbröker and Dr Sophie Read, and other PhD supervisors.

Image: Speculative Siliceous Scaffolds. Photo Credit: Nina Jotanovic