Fluid Bodies is an interdisciplinary research project developing unprecedented artworks by omitting conventional formwork in the casting process.

The research is funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, and situated at the Art & Science Departement of the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

The collaboration team includes

Klaus Bollinger o. Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. | University of Applied Arts Vienna

MADAME Architects


Thomas Saraceno

Olafur Eliasson Studio

Anish Kapoor

Greg Lynn Studio

Stefan Diez


Avenarius Agro

Concrete Canvas


Today’s design dilemma is a technological gap between sophisticated software models and their realization abilities. Complex shapes are easily drawn in computer software, but are very quickly limited when it comes to build them in real world, 1:1, scale with a reasonable budget. Artists, Designers and Architects should be able to build their formal ideas with affordable methods. There are many digital tools accessible to create efficient structures, striking aesthetic designs and parametric optimized shapes. But without an adaptive building industry to manufacture those structures and designs, they will stay in the realm of utopia and desire. Even if designers can prove long-term amortization in their projects, there is still fear about initial investments and very few construction companies that dare the challenge.

Additionally the material properties themselves, especially in architecture, sometimes need to fulfill very high standards in terms of thermal insulation, fire safety, acoustic qualities and especially robustness. In order to fulfil these requirements building in architecture is usually a combination of different materials with specific qualities that are constructed in layers. Depending on their visibility and relevance to define architectural form the various layers are custom engineered and manufactured to various degrees. E.g. in building envelopes functionality is divided into different material and constructional layers, such as cladding (visible layers), structure, and insulation (inner layers). Single Materials or material composites that need to define architectural form and combine different physical functionality like carrying loads (exceeding their own weight), insulation or weather-proofing require elaborate and expensive manufacturing methods, generally involving extensive formworks which imply additional material resources and additional manual or mechanical labor. Common examples of these materials/composites are concrete or resin. This proposal focuses on such materials requiring formwork and looks into the technical, procedural and design methods of reducing and optimizing casting processes offered by innovations and adaptions from non-architectural disciplines.

The team’s goal is to compile a technological method to produce architectural applications and products with new aesthetic properties, based on its knowledge on digital processing, casting materials and creating formwork. We thereby challenge conventional formwork principles with our transdisciplinary approach and a completely new point of departure to rethink casting molds and reinforcement.