The Bartlett School of Architecture


Bartlett Research Conversations: Alexandra Lăcătușu

26 April 2022, 2:00 pm–4:00 pm

Image: Micrograph of photosynthetic gametopgytes, Alexandra Lacatusu

MPhil/PhD student Alexandra Lăcătușu discusses her research into the complex and highly dynamic interactions between mosses, their substrates, associated organisms and local environmental parameters, and the biocentric design that this knowledge generates.

This event is free.

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The Bartlett School of Architecture

Design with Bryophytes: Biotic Exchanges and Environmental Benefits of Moss Growth on Urban Bioreceptive Surfaces

Speaker: Alexandra Lăcătușu
Supervisors:  Prof Marcos Cruz and Dr Brenda Parker
Guest panellist: Prof. Jeff Duckett


Cities worldwide urgently need extensive, autonomous and fast-growing green areas to mitigate the effects of climate change. In a similar way to forests – just at a different scale – mosses capture atmospheric pollutants and maintain local biodiversity by providing shelter and food for a highly diverse set of organisms across all kingdoms of life. Early establishment and growth are influenced by a dynamic mix of biotic and abiotic factors, while environmental queues mediate physiological responses and modulate plant biochemical exchanges. 

This research focuses on translating the complex and highly dynamic interactions between mosses, their substrates, associated organisms and local environmental parameters. Firstly, the aim is to augment human perception of small-scale natural systems and enhance the value designers assign to micro-scale landscapes. At the same time, the resulting data generates a starting point for the design of biocentric and bioreceptive micro-environments that can support moss growth on vertical building surfaces.

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 Architectural Design MPhil/PhD and Architectural and Urban History and Theory MPhil/PhD. 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 Sophia Psarra, PhD Coordinators, Dr. Nina Vollenbröker and Dr Sophie Read, and other PhD supervisors.

Image: Digital micrograph of Bryum capillare moss gametophytes and associated microorganisms by Alexandra Lăcătușu