Michael Pawlyn set up Exploration in 2007 to focus on environmentally sustainable architecture inspired by nature. From 1997 to 2007 he worked with Grimshaw Architects and was instrumental in the design development of the Eden Project. He was responsible for leading the design of the Biomes and proposals for a third major climatic enclosure. He initiated and developed the Grimshaw environmental management system resulting, in December 2000, in the company becoming the first firm of European architects to achieve certification to ISO14001.
He has lectured widely on the subject of sustainable design in the UK and abroad and in May 2005 delivered a talk at the Royal Society of Arts with Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface. In 2006 he was appointed to represent Grimshaw as a Founder Member of the UK Green Building Council and in 2007 was elected as a committee member of ‘The Edge’, a think-tank dedicated to addressing important political, social and professional issues.