When Biology Inspires Architecture: An Interview with Doris Kim Sung

Much of ’s work is with Thermal-Bimetals, a laminated sheet metal material that can expand and contract at different temperatures. Image © Brandon Shigeta

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural materials in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Before attending Columbia University for her Masters in Architecture, Los Angeles-based architect Doris Kim Sung took a fairly non-traditional approach to becoming an architect: she was a biologist. Naturally then, Sung’s architectural work tends to take inspiration from the biological world, particularly in the way she experiments and innovates with materials. Much of her work involves thermal bimetals, a material that expands and contracts with temperature swings; it can even act as a sun shade and ventilation system, without the need for electricity.

So where does a biologist-turned-architect draw inspiration from? We interviewed Ms. Sung to find out for ourselves — the responses, like her work at dO|Su Architecture, are simply fascinating.

Video: Doris Sung’s Living Architecture

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Doris Sung, from DO|SU Studio Architecture, has done a really interesting work experimenting with software, building mediums and metals, and nature in her designs. Last year, we published ‘Bloom’, which was displayed at the and Application Gallery in .

Today, VICE shared with us an exclusive video where you can learn more about her practice and how it can help anticipating the needs of humans. Enjoy!

Bloom / DO|SU Studio Architecture

© Brandon Shigeta

DO|SU Studio Architecture shared with us their architectural research installation, titled ‘Bloom,’ displayed at the Materials and Application Gallery in . The project acts as a sun tracking instrument indexing time and temperature, with a shape alluding to a woman’s Victorian-era under garment, ‘Bloom’ to stitch together material experimentation, structural innovation, and computational form and pattern making into an environmentally responsive form. The project is especially designed for peak performance on spring equinox, March 20, 2012. More images and architects’ description after the break.