Location: I oA Square
Petra Gruber is a researcher and educator in architecture and biodesign. She holds a PhD in “Biomimetics in Architecture” from the Vienna University of Technology in Austria and works internationally in inter- and transdisciplinary design, research, and education, at the intersection of biology, architecture, and art. From 2000 – 2008 she was an assistant professor at the Institute of Design and Building Construction at the Vienna University of Technology where she taught studio design, building construction, biomimetics, and vernacular architecture. At the University of Applied Sciences in Villach she co-designed and taught in the program “Bionics in Energy Systems”. She was a research fellow at the Center for Biomimetics at The University of Reading, UK.
In her own office “TRANSARCH” she has been leading research projects in traditional architecture and on spatial and functional aspects of biological structures for biomimetic innovation in architecture and the built environment. With her longtime project partner Barbara Imhof and together with an international team she co-led the arts-based research projects “Biornametics” and “Growing as Building” at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.
From 2012 – 2015 she held a long-term visiting professorship at the Ethiopian Institute for Architecture, Building Construction and City Development EiABC in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She served as Chair for Architectural Design, and designed and implemented the first master program in architecture in the country. From 2016 – 2021 she was Associate Professor for Biodesign at the Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center BRIC at The University of Akron, US, where she founded the BiodesignLab and supervised PhD students in Integrated Biosciences.
Since her return to Austria in 2021 she was a senior researcher at Hochschule Rhein-Waal in Germany and the University of Applied Arts, Vienna with the project “Biocool” on self-cooling biomimetic building facades. In December 2021 she joined the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG as a program expert.
Her work has been published widely in books, journals, exhibitions, and documentary films. She holds lectures and workshops worldwide and acts as reviewer for scientific journals and funding organizations. In October 2023 she will join the University of Applied Arts in Vienna as a professor and head of the Department head for Building Construction.