This week, Dr. Petra Gruber and two Ph.D. students from her lab, Ariana Rupp and Thibaut Houette, collaborated with the Cluster of Excellence Image-Knowledge-Gestaltung of the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, in the workshop titled “Breathing Skins.”

Dr. Petra GruberGruber, at right, an associate professor, is based at the Myers School of Arts and the Department of Biology for our Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center (BRIC).

The five-day workshop, which concluded today, June 8, targeted new morphologies of three-dimensional shape changing structures for enhanced evaporation in technical applications by taking on research on thermodynamics of leaves carried out at BRIC, and research on spontaneous shape change carried out by Dr. Lorenzo Guiducci, a post-doc researcher at the Cluster of Excellence Image-Knowledge-Gestaltung of the Humboldt University.

Gruber and Guiducci led the international workshop with 15 participants at the facilities of the Cluster in Berlin. The interdisciplinary workshop mixed analog and digital practices from textile design, architecture, industrial design, traditional papermaking and origami folding to programming and modeling geometrical relationships influencing evapotranspiration. This research aims at the development of enhanced technical devices for energy dissipation such as heat exchangers, wearable textiles, spacecraft, or architectural facades.

“Folding” will also be theme this fall for Gruber’s special topics studio “Biomimetic Design” —Folding Structures from Biology to Artistic Design at the Myers School of Art. The studio will be held in collaboration with visiting paper artist Eric Gjerde. It is open to students from all departments and valid for Advanced Graphic Design. For information, please contact

Source: University of Akron Digest