Hylozoic Ground / Philip Beesley

Katie Durkin
Nov 10, 2020

Architect and sculptor, Philip Beesley, created Hylozoic Ground as a piece of experimental architecture. Hylozoism is a philosophical belief that all matter has life, it dates back to 1678 with English philosopher Ralph Cudworth. Beesley adapted this and created a living sculpture.

The work was showcased at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010 and is a piece of both art and architecture. The immersive installation raises the question of whether architecture can be alive and whether it can adapt to those inside it. Beesley investigated how technology (microprocessors and sensors) can respond to human presence and how it can change depending on different stimuli.

This innovative design creates a connection between people, technology and the environment. This work can be developed and used within architecture to create environments that are adaptive according to the occupants wants and needs. For example, if the technology picks up on temperature and moods, this can stimulate a shift in temperature or colour (through lighting) to create a more suitable environment.