Felix E. Klee has an academic background in architecture and physics. He is exploring tropical regions for opportunities to realize living architecture with strangler figs, something that is not possible in his home country Germany.
The prime example of this type of architecture are the living root bridges in Meghalaya, which Felix visited and documented in November 2022 and July 2023.
At Fab23, in July 2023, Felix’ conference paper Living Architecture: Making at Architectural Scale was selected as one of three featured papers. It was presented during the morning talks on Fab23 education day. Two days later, Felix ran the workshop Architecture With Living Trees where we looked at a site in Gelephu.
In April and Mai 2023, Felix was resident at DreamSpace Academy where he was running a living architecture program. The goal is to inspire the next generation to study about nature, to advance engineering, and to experience construction at architectural scale. With living architecture, we don’t need to worry about harming the environment with massive experiments. Our waste is regenerative.
After returning from visiting the Tongliang Great Banyan in February 2023, Felix initiated the ongoing series Bamboo & Banyans at Dim Sum Labs hacker space.
When in Meghalaya for the living root bridges in November 2022, he gained practical experience when helping with construction of the Living Root Pavilion.
In July 2022, as part of the digital naturalism conference Dinacon in Sri Lanka, Felix ran the workshop Fig, Ficus, Fighouse!. Together with conference participants and students, a tetrahedral structure was erected out of bamboo and populated with ficus cuttings obtained from trees nearby.
Just weeks before, on the other side of the world, a similar workshop was held at Lancetilla, the national botanical garden of Honduras. In collaboration with Soroush Garivani and Jean-Nicolas Dackiw, Felix introduced garden management to strangler fig based construction. A platform was set up to evaluate the growth of these trees in the local subtropical climate. Based on the outcome of the experiments, we will plan a living structure with utility to the garden and its visitors.
In 2020, Felix conducted experiments about growing vines into shapes at Dim Sum Labs Hong Kong. In the jungle atop Victoria Peak, he set up a sound installation together with noise artist 3x3x3.
Felix’ work with living plants stems from interest in structures that organically adapt to their environment. He created SAN, the Self Aware Network, which could be experienced in a workshop at Sónar Hong Kong 2019. For deTour 2019, he scaled up SAN to an interactive sound sculpture, composed of coconuts and bamboo. a-to-m, a toy based on SAN, won the first prize in the 2020 Innovative Game Design Challenge.
Adaptive structures were predated by his collaborative architecture initiative. Participants from all over the Internet guide the positioning of blocks to build a structure in the real world. As underlying technology, Felix developed the Reality Builder. The interactive installation Wir Bauen, made of wooden blocks, was set up at Chaos Communication Camp 2015. A byproduct of thinking about reconfigurable structures is the BlockToy series of architectural models.
At Spektrum Berlin, Felix curated MetaMatter, a laboratory of research and practice focused on the transformations of matter. With Eitan Rieger, he created the interactive light sculpture Time Portal, part of HGN collection. They founded Rieger & Klee GbR, a Berlin based art production company.Felix E. Klee, Scanbox 03637, Ehrenbergstr. 16a, 10245 Berlin