Michael Pawlyn established Exploration in 2007 and has built a reputation as a thought leader in biomimicry.

He has lectured internationally on biomimicry and innovative approaches to sustainability. In 2007 Michael Pawlyn delivered a talk at Google’s annual ‘Zeitgeist’ conference and, in 2011, became one of only a small handful of architects to have a talk posted on TED.com.

In the same year, his book Biomimicry in Architecture was published by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Prior to setting up the company Michael Pawlyn worked with Grimshaw for ten years and was central to the team that radically re-invented horticultural architecture for the Eden Project. He was responsible for leading the design of the Warm Temperate and Humid Tropics Biomes and the subsequent phases. He initiated the Grimshaw environmental management system resulting in the company becoming the first firm of European architects to achieve certification to ISO14001.


Innovating and collaborating to address the major challenges of our age

We use biomimicry to develop new strategies, to radically rethink existing building types and devise a completely new approach to the design process.

Biomimicry is a rapidly emerging discipline that learns from the remarkable catalogue of solutions to be found in biology – all of which have been refined by 3.8 billion years of evolution. Whereas sustainable development has often been based on mitigating negatives, biomimicry represents a new paradigm and reveals solutions that go beyond ‘sustainable’ to be restorative and deliver net positive impacts.

We have successfully worked with a wide range of organisations to help them succeed in the shift that is already underway – from the industrial age to the ecological age of humankind.

Frequently our projects achieve substantial resource savings and reveal major commercial opportunities for our clients.

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

Exploration was established in 2007 and has been described as a pioneer of biomimicry. We are best known for our innovative schemes, The Sahara Forest Project, The Biomimetic Office Project, The Fjord IT Mountain Server and inspiring consultancy work.

Our aim is to produce solutions that address the major challenges of our age which we see as climate change, biodiversity loss, resource scarcity and energy, food & water security.

In 2008 Exploration was short-listed for the Young Architect of the Year Award and the internationally renowned Buckminster Fuller Challenge. Our work has been published in Wired, Icon, The Guardian, The Economist and National Geographic and featured on numerous television and radio programmes.

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 Biomimicry3.8

Web site


Some talks


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