UCL Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering


Nina Jotanovic

Nina Jotanovic

Email: nina.jotanovic.17@ucl.ac.uk


The influence of materials on advances in architecture has been profound. This spans from physical properties and mechanical performance to the experience and perception of built spaces. The last century ushered in significant advances in material science. While a vast array of synthetic materials for architectural use was created as a result, a majority of these materials also brought forth limitations that now need to be urgently addressed. Firstly, their industrialised manufacturing processes entailed harsh conditions – extreme pH levels and high pressure and/or temperature – which are highly unsustainable. At the present moment, as the consequences of such processes are progressively becoming tangible, it is a critical time to find novel routes of material creation in order to mitigate some of these effects and consequences. Additionally, a majority of synthetic materials exhibit a lack of ‘character’ when compared to natural ones, undermining meaningful ways to experience spaces sensorially. New processes of material creation are crucial to address both these challenges. In nature a process of biomineralization creates solid materials with exquisite perceptual and performative properties, at ambient temperature. This research explores how adopting principles of biomineralization in the lab offers methods to shift from manufacturing to growing, while creating a new generation of materials able to actively participate in the earth’s cycles and, concurrently, enhance perceptual stimulation.


MArch, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain (2016)

BArch, University of Belgrade, Serbia (2014)


‘Biogenic Architecture’ at Ars Electronica 2020
https://vimeo.com/456197854 https://vimeo.com/452620999 

‘Biogenic Luminosity’ at Open Cell, London Design Festival 2019