Morphogenetic Prototyping Lab

Co-founders : Dr Tim McGinley | Dr Quenten Schwarz | Dr Sally Plush | Dr Kei Hoshi

Research Associates : Dr Andrew Fotia | Lisa Iacopetta | Shane Haddy | Brett Abroe

Morphogenetic prototyping supports the mapping of transdisciplinary models of biological system development to real world challenges in design and engineering disciplines. The ontogenetical (developmental biology) focus of this research offers an alternative to traditional mechanistic interest of biomimetics in design and engineering. The Morphogenetic Prototyping Lab at UniSA is investigating how morphogenetic prototypes could support a  designer’s understanding of complex design problems in wicked problem contexts. At the same time we are interested in their communicative and experimental value in science.

We therefore are working to identify the following:

  1. An appropriate transdisciplinary approach to model the development of biological systems (morphogenetic prototypes)
  2. A method to map the morphogenetic prototypes to real world problems
  3. An appropriate design experience for working with morphogenetic prototypes that we describe as carving.
  4. An appropriate design system to support morphogenetic prototyping.
  5. An appropriate design environment to support carving.



Gruber, P. McGinley, Muehlbauer, M. (2017) Towards an Agile Biodigital Architecture, 3rd International conference on Biodigital Architecture and Genetics, Barcelona June 7-10.

McGinley, T., Schwarz, Q., Collins, J., Muehlbauer, M., (2016) Suburban mutations: towards the multi-dimensional appropriation of science in architecture, Fifty years later: Revisiting the role of architectural science in design and practice: 50th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association 2016. Adelaide, SA, Dec 7-9, 2016.

McGinley,T. Fotia, A. Abroe, B. (2016) From Hopeful Monsters to Morphogenetic Prototypes, Architectural Theory Review, DOI: 10.1080/13264826.2016.1177563

McGinley,T. Hoshi, Kei. Plush, Sally. Schwarz, Quenten. (2015) Morphogenetic Prototyping: Towards 5D Transdisciplinary Ontogenetical Models, Intelligent Buildings International, 5th Adelaide Cell and Developmental Biology Meeting, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2024.9046

McGinley,T. Hoshi, Kei. Iacopetta, L. (2015) Morphocarve: Carving Morphogenetic Prototypes, IASDR 2015,  DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3995.0803

McGinley,T. (2014) A morphogenetic Architecture for Intelligent Buildings, Intelligent Buildings International, DOI: 10.1080/17508975.2014.970120

McGinley, T.(2014) A new architectural identity for SA based on biological development , Place Architecture, South Australian Chapter of AIA, Full article download link


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