Lidia Badarnah, PhD

Studio Tutor, Emergent Technologies and Design, AA School of Architecture

Professional qualifications


Research Interest

My main research efforts lie at the interface between natural systems, environment, buildings, and associated technologies and services. My work contributes to an emerging body of research that seeks to redefine environmental design in architecture through mimicking natural systems (i.e. biomimetics), changing approaches from conventional separated building systems to adaptive and integrated solutions and methods for enhanced sustainability and resilience in architecture.


Lidia Badarnah is an architect and a researcher in biomimetics. Her PhD dissertation (TU Delft, 2012), proposed a strategic methodology for the generation of biomimetic design concepts, and since then her work has branched out to new inspiring areas at the interface of natural systems, environment, buildings, and associated technologies and services, exploring novel approaches for the development of building solutions that are better suited to their environments. She received several competitive awards and fellowships, and carried out her postdoctoral studies at the Building Technology Lab at MIT. Lidia is on the editorial board of the Journal of Biomimetics in Engineering, and has a Teaching Certificate from MIT (2014).


2017, L. Badarnah, Form Follows Environment: Biomimetic Approaches to Building Envelope Design for Environmental Adaptation, Buildings, 7, 40
Building envelopes represent the interface between the outdoor environment and the indoor occupied spaces. They are often considered as barriers and shields, limiting solutions that adapt to environmental changes. Nature provides a large database of adaptation strategies that can be implemented in design in general, and in the design of building envelopes in particular. Biomimetics, where solutions are obtained by emulating strategies from nature, is a rapidly growing design discipline in engineering, and an emerging field in architecture. This paper presents a biomimetic approach to facilitate the generation of design concepts, and enhance the development of building envelopes that are better suited to their environments. Morphology plays a significant role in the way systems adapt to environmental conditions, and provides a multi-functional interface to regulate heat, air, water, and light. In this work, we emphasize the functional role of morphology for environmental adaptation, where distinct morphologies, corresponding processes, their underlying mechanisms, and potential applications to buildings are distinguished. Emphasizing this morphological contribution to environmental adaptation would enable designers to apply a proper morphology for a desired environmental process, hence promoting the development of adaptive solutions for building envelopes. 10.3390/buildings7020040

2016, Lidia Badarnah, Usama Kadri, A methodology for the generation of biomimetic design concepts, Taylor & Francis, Architectural Science Review, 58, 2
Systems found in nature provide a large database of strategies and mechanisms that can be implemented in biomimetic designs. Although several biomimetic design strategies are currently available, the generation of a successful design concept is still challenging. A major challenge is the absence of a systematic selective design methodology that is capable of identifying the relevant systems and then abstracting their strategies and mechanisms. In this paper, some existing biomimetic design strategies applied for nature emulation are analysed. As an outcome, a methodology for the generation of biomimetic design concepts is developed. The design methodology selects dominant strategies that function simultaneously in nature and provides selective user-friendly tools, which facilitate the generation of preliminary design concepts. An example for the generation process of a design concept is presented.

2015, Lidia Badarnah, John E Fernández, International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium, Morphological configurations inspired by nature for thermal insulation materials

2012, Lidia Badarnah, Towards the LIVING envelope: Biomimetics for building envelope adaptation, PhD dissertation - Delft University of Technology

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