Research & Methods: Cosmogramme Workshop


Together as a studio group we created a graphic diagram explaining the main topics of the studio, those being BIOLOGY, MATERIALITY, COMPUTATION, FABRICATION AND ARCHITECTURAL APPLICATION. By creating this initial framework for the studio, we were able to understand our focus areas of the research studio as well as the direction we need to go in.

C-Biom.A Cosmogramme 2021


The individual Cosmogramme is based on the same structure as the group one, with areas of focus on BIOLOGY, MATERIALITY, FABRICATION and COMPUTATION. The graphic is laid out in a circular way in order to show the circular flow of the topic, showing the connections and interactions between words, topics and diagrams through the use of arrows and colour.

C-Biom.A Cosmogramme Ilaena Napier2021


The research is based on the development of seaweed as a species and how sodium alginate (a derivative from brown seaweed) can be combined with other bio-based materials to create a biocomposite material. The research is looking at using this material as a new system within the built environment.


The research starts with the focus on climatic problems that are affecting our oceans. Seaweed, as a species, has many benefits to the environment. By growing it, it can absorb large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and ocean and acts as a carbon sink. This cosmogramme looks at seaweed, how it can be farmed, the 3 types of seaweed, the derivatives of seaweed and architectural applications that have been researched around the world and how these are all interconnected.

C-Biom.A Cosmogramme Ilaena Napier2021


The research then focuses on the material aspects of seaweed, including derivatives and their properties. A series of bioplastic recipe experiments were conducted and catalogued to understand how the material is cooked and cured and the behaviors that it shows. As this is a water-based biocomposite material, shrinkage is a factor that needs to be taken into account during the curing process.

C-Biom.A Cosmogramme Ilaena Napier2021


In order to create a bio-integrated design, the behaviors of biological species need to be studied and simulated using agent-based design strategies in programs such as Grasshopper and Houdini.

C-Biom.A Cosmogramme Ilaena Napier2021


The fabrication of this biocomposite material is looked into. By using a combination of computational design and analysis, as well as material experiments, a fabrication technique can be designed in order to create an element for an architectural application. Additive manufacturing of the material is chosen and 3D printing tests progress to larger extrusion tests with a robotic arm. Tools have needed to e developed, scale is taken into account and architectural references are researched.

C-Biom.A Cosmogramme Ilaena Napier2021

Seaweed Biocomposite Cosmogramme  is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed in the Master in Advanced Architecture 2020/21 by:

Student: Ilaena Mariam Napier

Faculty: Mireia Luzarraga