The Architect’s Experimentarium

On the back page, July 1st, the Danish newspaper Børsen published an article with the title 'The Architect's Experimentarium' about GXN and how to work with green innovation in architecture.

By: Stephan Wedel Alsman, Business Editor

Birdsfoot trefoil, toadflax and cats beard. One of the largest Danish architectural firms, 3XN, has set up a subsidiary for the development and innovation of wild plants with strange names stand side by side with newly developed composites.

"The goal is innovation with profit. In practice, this means that everything we do must have a commercial propagation. Otherwise it has no place on earth, "says Kasper Guldager Jensen, director of the development company GXN. In practice, GXN example, partnerships with biologists and horticulturists to provide Nordic wild plants like birdsfoot trefoil and toadflax - plants which today decorate the landscape around Novo Nordisk's new headquarters. To ensure the commercialization of the research GXN specializes in setting up new companies for their newly developed products, such as the company UrbanGreen® which supplies regional specific wild plants.

Different architects

Parts of the development work in GXN be used internally in the parent company 3XN, but the majority will live its own life in the construction industry. 25 percent of the work of GXN goes to the parent company 3XN, while 75 percent of the work is used to solve projects outside the house.

"Sometimes we are a little far away from colleagues at the studio, when we sit down and try to develop new building materials made for example from tomato stems. Even though our department does not draw houses in the traditional sense, we use the experience of the company's buildings to come up with new solutions. Where a classical architect typically works with design of space and functionality, so we work with circular systems and products, often with inspiration from other industries and always interdisciplinary, says Kasper Guldager Jensen.

Green Innovation

After eight years of applied research in GXN they are now looking forward to one of the major challenges. GXN has just been shortlisted to bid for strategic master plan for Agro Food Park, where a cluster of food producers and –businesses, north of Aarhus want to have a sharper profile.

"The job is to design an export success. The idea is to go into their world, pluck processes from each other and look at where we can mix and match us to a place where those who participate create more value together than separately. It should create new innovation processes and hopefully also quite specific new products. The dream is to create a Silicon Valley for the future of food".

Read the article on Børsen here (Danish)


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