Engineers, designers and architects often look to nature for inspiration. The research on 'natural constructions' is aiming at innovation and the improvement of architectural quality. The introduction of life sciences terminology in the context of architecture delivers new perspectives towards innovation in architecture and design. The investigation is focused on the analogies between nature and architecture. Apart from other principles that are found in living nature, an interpretation of the so-called 'signs of life', which characterize living systems, in architecture is presented. Selected architectural projects that have applied specific characteristics of life, whether on purpose or not, will show the state of development in this field and open up future challenges. The survey will include famous built architecture as well as students' design programs, which were carried out under supervision of the author at the Department of Design and Building Construction at the Vienna University of Technology.