One of the most compelling and evolved peculiarities of nature is sustainability. Nature is innocuous. It banks on diversity, fits form to function and rewards corporation. It is zero-waste, zero-energy. It curbs excesses from within. Mocking as it, nature’s own children are struggling to incorporate lessons from nature’s 3.8 billion years of innovation. Human curiosity and desire to learn from nature is engulfed by a devouring flame that is materialistically extracting the best of nature for shallow voracious purposes. To throw more on the pile, environmental issues are politicized and capitalized by superficial bodies.
And as matter-of-fact we are cognizant of the key to shrink our planet’s woes. In an era where we have the knowledge, technology and all necessities to devise a restorative way of living, we are a several lessons away from entering an age of ecology.
The best of innovation and ecologically sensitive adaptation for a restorative and regenerative future lies in adopting nature as a role model. Innovators are compelled to ponder over how they will be able to achieve radical increases in resource efficiency and bring sustainability. Emulating the concept of nature’s genius in its survival – Biomimicry, is the answer in developing creative solutions to the challenges mankind faces in present world.
Biomimicry and Construction
According to a survey by the National Biological Service, one-half of all native ecosystems in the US are mortified to the point of endangerment. Applying biomimicry with designs and configuration as a direct analogy from nature is another way of salvage to the dilemmas mankind faces and a great way to keep from draining the planet’s ecological unit. Below are few pioneering and sustainable designs that we have inked from innovators around the world.
SPACEPLATES Greenhouse - mimicking the geometry of sea-urchins.
The building system created by Romme and Danish architecture studio N55 stands in Bristol, UK. The futuristic curved building needed nothing more than a few tools. It is lightweight, self-supporting, and low cost. Analogous to a sea-urchin shell it is thin yet rigid. The cladding and structure being the same reduce the amount of materials required in construction. Romme and N55 are currently working on a new minimalistic and modular system SPACEPLATES prototype which will be applicable for housing as well.
Casablanca Market Square – mimicking the canopy of leaf-like structures.
Designed by Dutch architect Tom David is a market square in Casablanca, Morocco with two-fold sustainability. The concrete structure is intended for provide shade and shelter like a tree. Overlapping of the canopy-leaves is a low-tech technique which ensures reuse of cascading rain off the surface of oversized petals by storing it in underground tanks. Thereby using it to clean the market-floor and flushing of toilets. It also helps in applying cooling by using heat of the sun and wind to cleanse the air under the roof. The waste handling system makes it low-maintenance, and also improves it durability and livability.
TREEPODS – mimicking trees and human lungs.
Designers Mario Caceres and Cristian Canonico designed beautiful air-filtering trees that light up in the night with an array of eye-catching colors. The branches which are made entirely of recycled plastic are designed in such a manner that they feature multiple contact points that serve as tiny CO2 filters. The TREEPODS emulate trees quality of removing CO2 and thereby release oxygen using a process called humidity swing. They also include solar energy panels and harvest kinetic energy through an interactive seesaw that visitors can play with at its base. The solar panels and kinetic energy station power the air filtration process as well as interior lights.
Temporary Summer Pavilion – mimicking the geometry of a cocoon.
Headed by Professor Göran Pohl from the BOWOOSS research project, bionic approach is adopted for traditional wood architecture. The structure of the pavilion is based on diatoms, single celled algae which combine strength and lightness. The self-stabilizing property of the structure comes from three-dimensional ribs of 60-80mm laminated wood and pore-like openings. Using standard tools and techniques, the resulting structure is durable and economical to implement.
Roost TreeHouses – mimicking organic forms of nature.
Designed by Anthony Gibbon, the Roost TreeHouses is made up of a series of pod-like capsules. Interior space is sufficient for sleeping and holding about two people. The capsules are harnessed to each tree in such a manner that it doesn’t prevent the growth of the tree. The series of pods are enclosing a central staircase to the top of the capsule where an outdoor platform expands high in the tree’s canopy. All materials involved in the construction of the Roost TreeHouses are sustainably sourced and do not harm the environment.