IDW - International Design Workshop WeekUniversity of Antwerp / Faculty of Design Sciences

Activity: Participation in or organisation ofWorkshop, seminar or course (Participation in/Organisation of)


Holobiontic Structures

Franziska Hederer / Andreas Gratl / TU-Graz (A)

We are many. Incredible many. The term of the individual is no longer supportable. To separate ourselves from the others and build our own house, with our own garden, with our own car, with our own swimming pool, with our own fence, with our own...etc. etc. makes us fragile in case of disruption.

Resilience in terms of community, buildings and the ecosystem is referring on diverse systems operating like an organism in “multisymbiotic” structures. The US-biologist Lynn Margulis suggested already in 1993 to replace the idea of an individual by the idea of a HOLOBIONT (Greek: holos = the whole, bio = life) which implements the principle of symbiosis to generate survivable, resilient formations with the potential to increase to very big communities. She proclaimed the human as a holobiont.

For our workshop we created the term „HOLOBIONTIC STRUCTURE“ which is a loanword from the discipline of biology. Investigating the basic principles of a holobiont we want to develop architectural and respectively urban living structures, which apply these principles and form a resilient built organism. These experimental design studies should be situated in the city of Antwerp. We search for existing and especially strong building structures equipped with some kind of public infrastructure like electricity, water, information or social, medical or educational services where we can implement our design solutions in the sense of a symbiosis.
Period12 Feb 201816 Feb 2018
Event typeWorkshop
LocationAntwerpen, BelgiumShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems