Design Pedagogy through Biomorphic research A digital approach to design methodology in undergraduate architecture studios

Quratulain Asghar, Fatima Javeed, Syed Muhammad Zille Ali Naqvi


The purpose of this research, resulting from the design studio experimentation, is to frame and explore the outcomes of a biomorphic design methodology. In addition, the research observes how knowledge transfer takes place with regard to the novice learner when exposed to such a methodology as an architectural medium. This design education literature is composed to construct a theoretical lens in digital environments as well as cognitive theories of learning, keeping in view, the challenges confronted by and achievements of the students in the studio.

Assembly of design concepts from natural processes is explored as a medium of design inspiration in the research. An experimental design studio titled: ‘Design through biomorphic research: the exploration of contemporary digital tools’ is presented as a pedagogical framework for educating the 4th year architecture students. This framework, along with the inventive end products, is demonstrated by a series of interesting research and design programs explored in the design studio. The projects presented expand upon the term ‘biomorphic’ by investigating the animal kingdom and complex natural process as a source of inspiration and are focused on the analysis and understanding of various complicated and self-organized phenomenon. Thus, these projects translate the principles from nature into design decisions with the help of digital tools available today.


The paper illustrates one of the methods of investigation, bringing together architecture, science, and nature. The methodology is explained with the help of two projects resulting from an outline provided by the instructors to their 4th-year design students at the Architecture Department at University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, during the 2017/2018 academic year.

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