Hello from the Biological Form + Function Lab @ Imperial College London
Biological structures are amazingly robust, despite the great restrictions in materials and design. Being sessile, plants deal with ever-changing environment by adapting their architecture via sensing and response to juxtapositions of physical signals.
We investigate the resilience of living architecture, in plant structures such as the wood, the shoot, and the dandelion fruit. How do they respond to the environment? And why? We study environmentally sensitive morphing structures, because of the unique opportunities they offer to unfold the functional significance of altered forms. We actively apply our research for benefit of the society in three areas: synthetic biology, biomimetic engineering, and agriculture. Adaptive biological structures are a great source of inspiration for 'smart' engineering strategies. We are investigating the potential of physical priming of crop resilience as a solution for climate-smart agriculture. Our synthetic biology tools and protocols may catalyze cellular agriculture.
We support and promote diversity. We are a borderless group of researchers (in terms of scientific backgrounds, scales and types of problems, nationalities, food choices, and any other measures). Our research threads through several fields of biological and physical sciences, as well as social science and design. We believe that diversity will bring about synergy, open mind, and more out-of-box thinking.