Life as inspiration

By februari 24, 2017 Algemeen

Life is supported by dynamic non-equilibrium as an operating condition. Managing dynamic non-equilibrium to provide the continuous change and control for our human needs will take creativity, insight and co-operation. How ecological and natures principles have influenced the evolution of behavioral and physiological traits of living organisms can inform and inspire fields such as urban design and architecture. By looking at nature’s ecosystem, we find independent, self-enriching, sustainability.

This is a completely different paradigm and a new exciting landscape. Biology – especially ecology – are disciplines that can influence urban and architectural design projects in unexpected and interesting ways. Learning how to deal with long-term maintenance of our planet, is essential. The examination of nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to get inspiration from in order to solve human problems. This approach emulates nature, which is constantly evolving and adapting just like technology. It has inspired revolutionary innovations that make our lives easier, healthier, and more sustainable.

Design is central to the social, environmental and economic benefits of sustainability in product development in general. Traditionally, the business case for design are based on criteria such as cost savings, product improvement, ergonomics and user needs. The current driver of sustainability is significantly more complex and multidimensional. Although challenging, incorporating sustainability and resilience significantly multiplies the benefits of what design in general can offer. Solutions based on natural principles are sustainable, adaptive, perform well, save energy, cut material costs, redefine and eliminate waste, heighten existing product categories and define new product categories and industries.

Natures principles serve as a lens that expands the solution space by directing us to the functional solutions already available in nature. It becomes second nature to ask questions about the natural strategies and principles. The degree to which strategies can be understood and applied depends on circumstance, communication and opportunity. Multiscale structures of biological principles and materials exhibit inherent multifunctional integration. This special biological solution provides inspiration for scientists, designers and engineers to design multifunctional artificial materials with multiscale structures.

In an ideal bio-based design inspiration, form, bio-based building materials and biomimetic techniques are combined. During the design process there is a constant interplay between function, form and material. The influence of biomimetics is more parallel to the process in the sense that it can be in all stages of a construction project of influence. From the first sketches the architect can look at natural evolved techniques but also in later phases, mechanisms of nature are useful in solving problems in materials and workmanship.

The resulting architectural building envelopes proto-architectural research and design projects creates a more sustainable way of building and living. In the last few decades, inspired by various dynamic local ecological and natural principles and  material, a great number of multifunctional materials have been fabricated. Although various properties of biological materials have been found in the last few years, some other properties may be hidden in the multiscale structures of natural materials and remain unravelled. Most of current work has still focused on the biomimetic synthesis of multiscale structures inspired by biological materials. The increasing collaboration work would also be useful for the improved understanding of multiscale design laws, clarification of structure-multifunction relationship, extraction of useful design and engineering principles, and adaptation of models for practical structural applications.

 Imagine: a future of biomimetic architecture that fuses high-tech ideas with basic cellular functions to create ‘living’ structures that operate like natural organisms. This nature-inspired approach to city living looks at the urban landscape as a dynamic and ever-evolving ecosystem. Within this cityscape, buildings open, close, breathe and adapt according to the environment. Radically altering the perception of a structure’s surface. The exterior as a living skin, rather than a system of inert materials used only for construction and protection. A surface structure like a membrane which serves as a connection between the exterior and interior of the habitat. An active exterior capable of harvesting rain water, where water would be purified, filtered, used and recycled, absorb moisture from the air. The waste produced would be converted into biogas energy that could be put to diverse uses in the habitat.

Under this new order of sustainability, buildings, outdoor art and other manmade structures would function like trees, meadows, flora and fauna, capturing, cleaning and storing rainwater; converting sunlight to energy and carbon dioxide to oxygen; protecting soil from erosion; disseminating seedlings; and eliminating waste. There is need for bio-inspired design adaptations that emulate nature’s best ideas.