Our Team > Our PhD Students > Orlagh Casey

Orlagh Casey

Our PhD Students

Queen’s University Belfast

Orlagh graduated from her Bachelor’s in Architecture at Ulster University in 2018, and Master’s in Architecture at Queens University in 2021. Her thesis explored the creation of new bio building materials inspired by nature’s form and behaviours implemented through robotic technologies. Her thesis research went on to receive honourable mention in Build Solution’s ‘Design with Nature’ contest and was exhibited at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. As part of the Biohaviour research team, Orlagh’s PhD research explores biomimetic design and ecological niches through evolutionary development.

RIED Specific Links & Papers

  • Clare Newton & RIED (June 2023)

    RIED is inspired by nature. we are observing natural systems at work and codifying these into engineering systems to produce innovative designs and processes. Nature also inspires art. Our great friend and outstanding photographic artist Clare Newton has produced an amazing exhibition where art and technology and nature are brought together. The Seeds of Change project explores the nature around us and gives alternative perspectives to the amazing world of engineering design that is being created in RIED.

    Exposing innovative science to the public is very important for me. The reason I made this a big part of the Seeds of Change project, is that I have not seen the inside story of science before and in particular in a non-scientific context.  
        Although there are science museums, they look at subjects that are around us, to enable children to easily relate to a subject.  There is very few informative science projects that are portrayed in local exhibition form, and in a non-scientific public place. The purpose of this project is to reach out to a different sector of audiences and bring an unusual aspect of science that they can be inspired by and make the imagery immersive, so that the viewer feels the same excitement as I did when shooting the project.
        Over the years, I have brought different worlds together to widen a viewer’s point of view. This project I reach out to the non-scientific communities in public gardens, nature museums, churches, and other resourceful places. I know the public enjoy something different and will become fascinated by what I uncover.”

    Clare’s exhibition can be viewed from the 6th June to 28th August 2023 in:

    Gilbert White’s House,

    The Wakes,

    High Street,



    GU34 3JH,

    T: 01420 511275,

    Open daily Tuesday to Sunday 10:30am to 4:30pm

    QR code to Seeds of Change
  • From Nature to Structure : Exploring a Bio-Integrative Design Framework for Architectural Design (November 2023)

    This paper was presented by Orlagh Casey at the IAAC’s Responsive Cities Collective Intelligence Design symposium in Barcelona on 27-28 November 2023.

    Abstract : The field of architectural design is undergoing a profound transformation catalysed by the rapid advancements in smart material systems. This paradigm- shifting journey is marked by the integration of innovative materials, capable of responding to environmental stimuli and adapting their properties, thereby challenging traditional architectural framework. Within this innovative landscape, mycelium-based materials have emerged as sustainable construction materials. This research introduces a novel
    Bio-Integrative Design Framework (BIDF) to guide the incorporation and understanding of living matter in architectural design.
    The integration of generative design software, inspired by evolutionary developmental principles, further enhances the potential of mycelium-based materials in architectural design. The RIED (Re-Imagining Engineering Design) engine embraces nature’s principles, enabling designers and engineers to explore an extensive design space, resulting in a vast array of optimised solutions. The integration of the BIDF-RIED engine can introduce a new level of adaptability and sustainability to architectural projects. The RIED engine transcends conventional design methodologies, emphasising adaptability, design growth, and intelligent learning systems. Fostering a novel design engine with emerging living materials offers a vast design space, considering functionality, material behaviour, structural ability, and environmental constraints.