Archives for posts with tag: architecture

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Evolution. What a vast concept. It’s hard to even fathom all the faces the “human” has worn. And whats more, where we came from. I am a believer that all we are is star dust combined with an infinite amount of chemical reactions and mating cycles…so I guess that would consider me a bit of a Darwinist. Charles Darwin was an evolutionary biologist who stated that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Which brings me to the topic of this blog post: Biomimicry. 

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Biomimetics is something that fascinates me, and recently I have written two different papers on it. One was its application into the Interior Design industry and the other was the history of it and it’s application into architecture. So with that said, I’d love to inform you about it here.

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Biomimetics is also referred to as biomimicry and bioinspiration. To start with, bio means “life” and mimesis means “to imitate”. The Biomimicry Institute‘s definition is: a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. The Wikipedia definition is a tad more scientific, surprisingly: the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modeled on biological entities and processes. So basically taking a look at the nanomolecular structure of nature’s most time-tested and successful processes and mimicking them into human designs, be it architecture, materials, systems, products, etc.

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To give a few examples… We look to leaves to show us how to develop solar cells, we study the composition of the grid on a moth’s eye for better light absorption by solar panels, we look to Arctic Poppies to show us how we can make solar panels move with the sun throughout the day and even how we can build houses that rotate with the sun’s pattern.

24 Heliotrope house_final 3000077-poster-640-heliotrop-1Heliotrope House designed by Architect Rolf Disch, in Germany. See article: Heliotrope House via Fast Company

rotating-green-dome-designAnother example of a helitropic house by distributor Solaleya. See video via YouTube

When considering architecture and the ability to self-regulate temperature we can examine how termites, the architects of nature, construct their mounds in order to be a close-looped system where the interior remains at a constant temperature while enabling them to harvest their food (fungi). Pictured below is the comparison of the Eastgate Centre in Zimbabwe designed by architect Mike Pearce and engineers Arup Associates, and a termite mound. See article: Eastgate Centre via Inhabitat

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Another example I see as extremely beneficial in the application of medical facilities is a shark’s skin. A shark’s skin is composed of dermal denticles with longitudinal grooves that not only allow a shark to be swift but ensuring biofoul, like barnacles and algae, not be able to attach themselves to the shark’s surface. This concept can be translated into antimicrobial paints for hospital walls, ship hulls (lessening drag, increasing oil efficiency, lessening global impact), as well as creating more efficient water suits for humans.

Shark SkinAnd the list goes on. I am so excited to see what the future holds for such a promising discipline. Being able to apply such efficient natural engineering into the built environment can only help mankind become more synergistic with the planet’s cycle, ensuring that we create sustainable habitats that lessen our footprint on this beautiful place we call Earth.

Here are two great TEDtalk videos that go more into depth about Biomimicry:

Janine Benyus

Michael Pawlyn

Such a cool idea to create a home from airplane scraps. I love the shape it gives the roofline against the horizon and hills. There is a 4 minute long video clip that shows how the pieces were brought to this hillside location (helicopters, shut down roads and all) along with a TON of pictures, inside and out, rooftop balconies to the interior furnishings. You would have to be an heiress in order to actually foot the bill on this one. See Francie Rehwald’s house in the link below:

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Houzz Tour: A Salvaged Airplane Becomes a Soaring Hillside Home.

TV interview Link

I love this article! And I adore the woman who wrote it. She really knows her stuff. There’s something to say for experience. Here she goes over things from color wheel stereotypes to painting room walls dark colors to matchy-matchy furniture.

Feel Free to Break Some Decorating Rules.

With plentiful pictures exampling the techniques that it takes to accomplish solar heating,  in both summer and winter, with just the use of the sun’s rays (no solar panels or such)- this article expounds the ways in which architects are plotting lots and designing windows, walls, and roofs & overhangs, so to effortlessly blend a home into the rhythm of life. It might sound like some things are being repeated, but it can’t be repeated enough until a designer can draft this passive home in their sleep. The man himself and his glorious ways of thinking, Frank Lloyd Wright, are mentioned. Concrete’s benefits are talked about. Shades for the windows are touched upon. And the truth about the insulating properties (“R-value”) of glass-box homes are addressed. Please, read on:

Sunlight Used Right: Modern Home Designs That Harness Solar Power.

381b2f50460f85b7d991de68289fb49eAbsolutley stunning house. I am so excited to have stumbled upon what was at first a couples dream, that then came to fruition. And not only that, but they are designers! A modern day Charles & Ray Eames if you will. A home built for designers….in what sounds like a neat city! Palermo of Buenos Aires, Argentina is now on my travel Bucket List. Worth looking at the pictures AND reading the interview.

Original Buenos Aires Contemporary/Rustic Designer Home

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Amazing! One of the classes I am taking right now is called “The Contemporary House.” In this class we are learning how to design a unique, conceptual, working floor plan along with an entire house. Within the process of design, as interior design students, our Japanese professor educates us on the actual construction of the house’s foundation, the makeup of the walls, the roof’s construction (which has been a big eye opener on the complexity and depth of work an aesthetically successful house takes), and right down to the construction of kitchen cabinetry.

This post on treeHugger has really hit home with how I tend to think, “Why does it have to be done this way?” …A thinker of “nothing is impossible,” I always like questioning the way things work. So being a Sustainability minor, I have to say, “Goodbye drywall!”

This article shares where drywall began, why it was used (cheap), why we should get rid of drywall and how there are designers and architects who refuse to use it and have created seamlessly beautiful spaces.

How did we end up with drywall? : TreeHugger.