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Achim Menges
  • Architect (1975)

An architect and theoretician of computational paradigms in architecture, Achim Menges (b. 1975) is an essential figure in the field of biomimetic thought and engineering. His research focuses on “morphogenetic” and performative architecture, which rests on the convergence of computation and materialisation, and finds a tangible application in the field of construction. Having graduated in 2000 from the Architectural Association in London, Menges took part between 2004 and 2009 in the international OCEAN network and developed, with Michaël Hensel, the notion of morpho-ecology. As with a living organism, the formation process of its objects is implemented with environmental and structural parameters. For Menges, morphological intelligence ensures the link between the ecological capacities of material systems and environmental modulations. Currently teaching at the Institute for Computational Design of the University of Stuttgart (of which he is also the founder and director), Achim Menges designs, thanks to the crossing of structural, material, programmatic and contextual data, “responsive” buildings, that “react” spontaneously to environmental conditions. Resting on a calculated replica of nature and its morphogenetic logic, this field of exploration generates spectacular achievements (Research Pavilions, 2010 and 2011; HygroScope, 2012, in collaboration with Steffen Reichert; HygroSkin, 2013). The author of numerous publications and articles in collaboration with Michael Weinstock, Achim Menges has been Visiting Professor in Architecture at the Rice School of Architecture in Houston in 2004, at the AA School of Architecture in London since 2009, and at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design in 2009-2010. His work has won numerous awards (FEIDAD Design Merit Award 2003; ACADIA Award for Emerging Digital Practice 2007; International Design Award 2011) and been shown in exhibitions around the world (e.g., Multiversités Créatives at the Centre Pompidou in 2012 and Naturalizing Architecture - ArchiLab 2013).

Lucy Hofbauer