Student Presentations: “Biokinetics in Architecture”

Sustainable Research-Based Designs by Architecture & Urban Design Students at the Sam Fox School of Design & Arts, Washington University St. Louis.


Opening Reception: Thursday, October 4, 5-8 pm

Introduction Presentation by Catalina Freixas, LEED, AP (BD+C),

Senior Lecturer at Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis


CEL Exhibition Space at the MX Building

635 Locust St. St. Louis, MO 63102

(Northeast Corner of 7th and Locust Streets)


Biomimicry is the study of the form, structure, and function of biological systems as a means toward sustainability in the design and engineering of buildings

In a course led by Catalina Freixas, architecture students explore the field of biomimicry in search of inspiration for technical solutions to human problems. Titled Biomimicry in Architecture: A Biokinetic approach, the class takes an interdisciplinary, research-based approach, asking students to respond to the basic tenets of the Biomimicry Institute: form, process and ecosystem. Last year the students focused on developing new materials based on their research of specific organisms. The students performed all tasks in teams, and most of their projects borne of the class have been published.

Catalina Freixas, LEED AP (BD+C), is a senior lecturer in architecture at Washington University in St. Louis and has more than10 years of experience teaching design studios and seminars on sustainability. She has focused both her research and teaching on the field of biomimicry as the ultimate goal for sustainable design. Freixas is an advisor for the Bio-Inspired Design community, part of the Biomimicry Institute, and her work has been featured in the institute’s “Biomimicry in Higher Education I” and “Biomimicry in Higher Education II” conference proceedings. She is also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and an advisor for the Higher Education Committee.

For more information on Catalina Freixas and Biomimicy:

Catalina Freixas

Biomimicry in Higher Education Webinars

HOK and the Bio-Inspired Design Guild


Secondly, CEL will be hosting a speech by Tim Gaidis on Biokinetics in Architecture,

Tim Gaidis, LEED-AP BD&C, Sustainable Design Practice Leader – HOK St Louis

Tim Gaidis is the Sustainable Design Leader for HOK’s St Louis office where he leads the integration of sustainable strategies in the office’s project work, and is directly involved in the design and planning of sustainable facilities and infrastructure, many of which are pending LEED Gold and Platinum as well as Net Zero status. He also leads the office’s Sustainability Consulting Practice as well as the advancement of HOK staff’s sustainable knowledge base at the local and firmwide levels.

Tim is advancing the implementation of biomimicry and biomimetic principles on projects and was part of the HOK team which prototyped regionally specific biomimetic strategies at the Biosphere II near Tucson, Arizona and was part of the HOK team that developed the “Genius of Biome” report with the Biomimicry Guild. He is also part of an HOK team prototyping Market-Rate Net-Zero strategies to mainstream ultra-high performance buildings and helped to develop HOK’s Energy & Carbon Emissions Tracking and Reporting Tool.


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