MDes Affiliated Faculty and Lecturers

Simon Schleicher

Assistant Professor, Architecture


Simon Schleicher is an architectural designer, researcher, and educator from Germany whose work brings together architecture, engineering, and biology. In his research on bio-inspired compliant mechanisms, Simon is searching for a promising alternative to the persisting paradigm of rigid-body mechanics and has found inspiration in flexible plant movements. He aims to transfer the bending and folding mechanisms found in plant movements to elastic systems in architecture. By using modern computational modeling and simulation techniques, he reveals the plants’ compliant mechanisms and integrates them into bio-inspired, flexible structures. In case studies, he demonstrates the transfer process in more detail and shows how bio-inspired mechanisms can be used, for example, to shade double curved facades.

Before coming to UC Berkeley, Simon was project manager for the first ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010, which won the DETAIL prize and was nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award. With his work, Simon has won awards including the Gips-Schüle-Forschungspreis, the International Bionic-Award, the Ralph Adam Cram Award, the Imre Halasz Thesis Prize, the British Institution Award, and the Pininfarina-Förderpreis. During his study, Simon was recipient of a Merit-Based Full-Tuition Scholarship at MIT and received grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst DAAD) and from the prestigious German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes).