Exploration Architecture


exploration studio



Innovating and collaborating to address the major challenges of our age

Exploration was established in 2007 by Michael Pawlyn after ten years working at Grimshaw on The Eden Project and other high-profile projects

We focus on regenerative design approaches that go beyond conventional sustainable design. Whereas sustainability has too often involved simply mitigating negatives, regenerative design implies a much more positive approach that delivers substantial net benefits. The multiple environmental challenges of the present day compel us to find ways to restore ecosystems, build resilient communities, to generate more clean energy than we use and, where possible, build in a way that takes carbon out of the atmosphere. Within regenerative design we draw on two important nature-inspired approaches: biomimicry and biophilia.

Biomimicry is a rapidly emerging discipline that learns from how functions have been delivered in biology and uses this to inspire solutions that suit human needs. Examples include ultra-lightweight structures inspired by bird skulls and using clues from desert species that can harvest water from the air to develop similar solutions for buildings. Many of the solutions we will need for the circular economy are to be found in biomimicry.

Biophilia is based on a wealth of evidence showing that people are happier, healthier and more productive when in regular contact with nature. By designing planting, natural materials and views to nature we can create buildings that perform better and enhance wellbeing.

Our work has been widely published in media such as Wired, Icon, The Guardian, The Economist and National Geographic.

Our philosophy is captured in this short TED talk by Michael Pawlyn Founder of Exploration. 

What others say about us:

“Exploration Architecture is setting the bar for truly biomimetic design, deeply embracing not just nature's forms and processes as a source of inspiration, but also the most aspirational and progressive sustainable guidelines following Life's Principles. Their vision for what architecture should and must be for the 21st century ought to be the emerald standard to which every endeavour in the built environment must strive” Dayna Baumeister, Biomimicry 3.8