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Adriaan Gjalt de Groot

MA work

A Material Language for Liquid Building

"We build to endure. To resist time; although we know that ultimately time will win. What previous generations erected for eternity, we demolish. And then - with similar intent - we build again. Permanence is instinctively sought."  

   N.J. Habraken, 1964

As the acceptance of the need for circular material flows increases, it is becoming even more important to acknowledge the impermanence of our built environment and focus on material exchange in between applications. Rather than approaching each building in isolation; how do we make sure that value of construction material is maintained throughout multiple lifecycles and varying applications? Drawing inspiration from both natural systems as well as - more concretely - scaffolding, this project imagines a future in which construction material is designed specifically for perpetual use, reconfiguration and change.

It takes modularity down from the component to the material level. Could we design the 'building blocks' of our structures to be generic and durable enough to become a lasting currency, and might this eventually allow the built environment to become 'liquid' - evolving gradually, in sync with our ever changing urban needs? explores the opportunities as well as challenges of renting rather than selling construction material on a system level, and proposes the first iteration of a universal material language for 'Liquid Building'; SCAFFOLDx V1.0.


  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Design Products, 2018



  • Much of my work is inspired by the principles nature uses to optimise structures and systems, and aims to apply these to our 'engineered second nature'. Resource efficiency is probably the best term to describe what motivates me in doing what I do. 

    I spent most of my life living in the Netherlands, where I studied Industrial Design Engineering in Delft. After getting slightly bored of the 'dry' approach I went on the work for Joris Laarman, who's work is on the more experimental end of the spectrum. Currently I enjoy combining these two parts of my background in my work; aiming to conceptually challenge the way we design material flows in society, while technically grounding these sometimes speculative scenarios.

  • Degrees

  • BSc Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology
  • Experience

  • Product Developer, Joris Laarman Lab, Amsterdam, 2013 - 2016; Founder/Photographer, ADEG Foto, Amsterdam, 2013 - ...
  • Exhibitions

  • When Digital Gets Physical, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, 2017; When Digital Gets Physical, Singularity University NL Summit, Haarlem, 2017; Designing Craft / Crafting Design, Vienna Design Week, 2017; Stadsbeelden, Volkshotel, Amsterdam, 2015
  • Awards

  • Conferences

  • Publications