Archives for posts with tag: Function flow


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. 


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.


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.


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


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

If only I had a home to do all of these time-consuming tasks in. One day!

November Checklist for a Smooth-Running Home.

Face of Spanish Fly Hair Garage

Bird's Nest View of Spanish Fly Hair Garage

I was the daughter who was never allowed to cut or do anything to her hair or eyebrows, or even leg hairs at that. In sophmore year of high school I was finally allowed to add some low-lights and highlights; barely noticeable. My parents got a divorce and it was on. Hair color changed all the time. But I always remained the girl that wouldn’t let anyone, not even myself touch my hair unless it was by a “professional”. The first and last time I gave in to someone dying, or should I say bleaching my hair, I wound up with a platinum blonde, two inch mohawk in the part of my hair, while I had long black hair with extensions. I needed it to somehow be fixed. I wound up talking to a friend I worked with (now that I was living in the Sacramento area) about who she went to and how I wanted a more high fashion stylist because it was time to move up in the world of beauty and I had always believed you get what you pay for and short-coming yourself on your very own head of hair would be a shame. The difference in quality an expert hair stylist can bring to your physical beauty, as well as confidence, was worth it.

I was referred to Erin Flores at Spanish Fly Hair Garage in downtown Sacramento. A straight up rock’n’roll, red wood floor, white brick walls, post and beam ceiling, metal-chain-framed mirrors, tool boxes for stations, plasma screens, art hanging from suspended cables above stations, and of course guitars, kind-of-salon. Not to mention amazing natural lighting, a great layout, with a patio corridor and a separate salon in the back, booming sound system, and alcoholic beverages being served. Yup, there was no way this salon wasn’t going to affect me. I wanted to be apart of this. If not this one, one of my own, or better yet a specialist and owner in this industry. This salon is where my passion for the fascinating influence a pampering environment can bestow upon your being…just by the matter of walls, elements, space plan, imagery, professionalism, characters and aesthetics, and oh yeah…a good hairstyling. You walk in feeling drab, then during you feel apart of something great, and walk out feeling fabulous, new, revitalized.

I put myself out there and asked the owners, as a student of design, if I could come in and sketch the layout of the salon and they were more than obliged. I needed to see such a business on paper. I had only, at that point in my schooling, seen residential rooms drafted onto paper. I needed to see the space plan and function-flow of a business/salon. So I did it. And here are my sketches:

Front Salon, Reception, Stations, Sinkbowls

Outside Patio Corridor, Lounge Area

Back Salon, Lounge/Seating, Stations

Go easy, I was in the very beginning of my schooling, especially with drafting let alone sketching and scale of things. I may redo and label the sketches of the salon and attach them to this post at a later time so it makes more sense to the untrained eye.

But, this is where it started, this is where I still go almost 5 years later, and now Erin and I are great friends. Speaking of, we just finished having a drink together which inspired the importance of posting this monumental epitome I had at age 21.  I knew if this is what I were to put my mind to, I would have a career I would be happy to wake to everyday and would do anything to make happen. Every day since, I seek my niche and how I can make my plans come to fruition. Day by day, skill by skill, person by network I solidify my dream.