Peter von bÜlow

Professor of Architecture

Peter von Bülow is a professor of architecture at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. His area of research focuses on the use of evolutionary computation for exploration and optimization of structural systems. Prof. von Bülow has worked professionally in both architecture and engineering offices in Germany and the United States, including RFR-Stuttgart, Greiner Engineering, and SL-Rasch. He also spent a year at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Lightweight Studies (under Frei Otto) as a Fulbright Scholar.

Some of von Bülow’s early research work involved contracts with the U.S. Air Force for the development and blast testing of thin-shell, lightweight personnel shelters. He also worked for the U.S. Navy in designing a modular family of frame-supported, rapidly erectable tensile structures. As a long-standing member of the International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) von Bülow has published numerous papers describing optimal forms of shell and membrane structures. His recent publications focus on the design of branching column systems (“Tree” Columns). He has also designed and built a wooden grid shell based on the methods developed by Frei Otto, as well as an irregular mesh shell, which made use of reclaimed natural tree crotches for the bifurcating joints.

He has a doctorate in engineering (Dr.-Ing.) from the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design at the University of Stuttgart under Werner Sobek. He also received two degrees from the University of Tennessee: a Master of Science in Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Architecture.



2007 von Buelow, P. Genetically Engineered Architecture: design exploration with evolutionary computation. AV Akademiker Verlag, Saarbrücken, Germany. ISBN 978-3-639-42628-1

Journal Articles

2022 Kodadadi, A.; von Buelow, P. “Design exploration by using a genetic algorithm and the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ)” in Automation in Construction International Journal. Vol. 141,
September 2022. ISSN 0926-5805,
2020 Emami, N.; Giles, H.; von Buelow, P. “Structural, daylighting, and energy performance of perforated concrete shell structures” Automation in Construction. Volume 117, September 2020.
2016 Alaghmandan, Elnimeiri, Krawczyk and von Buelow. Modifying Tall Building Form to Reduce the Along-Wind Effect” CTBUH Journal. Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Issue 2. pp. 34-39. 2016.
2014 Kodadadi, A.; von Buelow, P. “Performance Based Exploration of Generative Design Solutions Using Formex Algebra” International Journal of Architectural Computing. Vol.12, Issue 3. pp. 321-338. Sept. 2014.

Conference Papers (Peer Reviewed)

2021 von Buelow, P.; Khodadadi, A. “Computational form exploration of branching columns using concepts of formex algebra and the ParaGen method”. in Inspiring the Next Generation, (IASS 2021). Aug. 23-27, 2021. Guilford, UK
2019 von Buelow, P. “The combination of SQL database queries and stochastic search methods used to explore generative design solutions “. in Form and Force, (IASS 2019). Oct. 7-10, 2019. Barcelona
2018 Oliyan Torghabehi, O.; von Buelow, P.; Mankouche, S.; Vliet, K. “Inventory-constrained design method for application of natural tree crotches as heavy timber joinery”. in the Texas Society of Architects 79th Annual Conference and Design Expo. Fort Worth, Texas. November, 2018.
2018 von Buelow, P.; Oliyan Torghabehi, O.; Mankouche, S.; Vliet, K. “Combining parametric form generation and design exploration to produce a wooden reticulated shell using natural tree crotches”. in Creativity in Structural Design, (IASS 2018). July 15-20, 2018. Boston, USA.