There is a general saying that biomimicry is the idea of using actual nature in design and also that biomimicry is just the idea of using the natural design of the environment to inspire our design projects. The application of biomimicry can benefit the built environment through site design, construction, and operations, as well as reduce the negative impact on the natural environment of numerous techniques for reducing carbon emissions, waste, and others. There is a wealth of knowledge and ideas available to create alternative architectural design solutions that are also more sustainable.

Biomimicry in engineering and architecture implies planning structures and items to copy or co-pick is a normally occurring process. Organisms have adapted to specific environments through evolution, which provides lessons to designers regarding the management of resources. Biomimicry works on the principle that nature has already come up with solutions to many of the problems we are trying to fix in its 3.8-billion-year history. In addition to being multidisciplinary, biomimicry involves a wide variety of fields, including architecture, electronics, medicine, biology, chemistry, mathematics, etc. 

Here are a few reasons why you should start using biomimicry in your designs:

Reasons you should start using biomimicry in your design projects right now! - Sheet1
The dome of Cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore inspired from strength of eggshell _©James Taylor-Foster

Sustainability through Biomimicry

The application of biomimicry and bio-utilization can contribute to sustainable building materials and projects. Biomimicry is based on life’s principles. Life’s Principles create a culture of bottom-up building, self-assembly, optimizing rather than maximizing, embracing diversity, adapting and evolving, and using life-friendly materials and processes, as well as engaging in symbiotic relationships. Following life’s principles allows us to create products and processes that are well suited to life on this planet.

Reasons you should start using biomimicry in your design projects right now! - Sheet2
Structural similarities between the sea sponge Venus’ flower basket and the famous Gherkin building located in London _© www.brunel.au.uk

Diversify and collaborate to fully Utilize the Habitat

Often, going to work involves sitting at a desk in front of a computer and putting out metaphorical fires, which isn’t a creative environment. It has been proven that people who spend time outdoors are happier, healthier, and more creative compared to those who don’t, so integrating the outdoors is beneficial.

 Redefine and Eliminate Waste

If a company mimics the natural transition of materials and nutrients within a habitat, it can set up its various units and systems to maximize resources and eliminate waste. Organizing the company’s habitat flows more like nature will increase profitability through cost savings.

Reasons you should start using biomimicry in your design projects right now! - Sheet3
Nature shows us how to design for ultimate decomposition and dispersion of materials _©www.industryleadersmaagazine.com

Gather and use Energy Efficiently

Energy is far more expensive in the natural world than it is in the human world. Plants trap and convert it from sunlight, but predators have to hunt and catch it. Since energy is scarce, life tends to organize highly energy-efficient designs and systems, optimizing them at every turn. Utilizing these efficiency strategies can significantly reduce the energy use of the company. More noteworthy, proficiency means energy cost investment funds and a more prominent benefit.

Reasons you should start using biomimicry in your design projects right now! - Sheet4
The Eastgate Centre, a shopping mall and office block in Harare, inspired by termite mounds_ ©David Brazier

Rather than Maximize, Optimize

There are no single-purpose tools in nature. Trees, for example, provide shade with their leaves, which also generate energy, and their bark also takes care of protecting and cooling the water underneath the surface. Think of building surfaces and systems that could fulfil multiple functions with a simple, multi-functional, versatile design! 

Emulating and enhancing Ecosystem services 

By designing structures, roads, and parks to perform similar functions to what a typical biological system does: stormwater gathering, flooding alleviation, territory creation, energy creation, and carbon sequestration, we can create a fabricated climate that “fits in” again and adds to the environments we have.

Reasons you should start using biomimicry in your design projects right now! - Sheet5
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Johnson Wax Headquarters features columns that expand as they rise, similar to water lilies floating on the water’s surface_©Travel Wisconsin

Dynamic Form

Architecture has traditionally looked to nature for inspiration, from Corinthian columns on Greek temples to Santiago Calatrava’s biomorphic buildings. Nevertheless, biomimicry reaches beyond form and teaches us how to integrate life’s inherent sustainability strategies, creating structures that are both functional and materially efficient, as well as well-suited to their surroundings.                   

Reasons you should start using biomimicry in your design projects right now! - Sheet6
ICD and ITKE’s Robotically Woven Pavilion Mimics the Structural Performance of Beetle Shells_©inhabitat.com

Reduce Material Costs

Nature’s buildings are based on shape rather than material since the shape is cheap and material is expensive. Taking inspiration from nature and studying how its strategies work, biomimicry can minimize the company’s expenditures on materials while maximizing the effectiveness of the product patterns and forms.

Reasons you should start using biomimicry in your design projects right now! - Sheet7
The Living, based in New York, in collaboration with Ecovative Design, a company that produces mycelium bricks to replace plastic, built a 13-meter-high tower in the courtyard of MoMA_©Andrew Nunes

Leveraging Collaborative synergies

By rethinking our buildings as nested systems, both as individual parts and as members of larger systems, we can create collaborative relationships that conserve resources, energy, and money for our projects and for the communities we serve.

Define New Product

Nature uses structure and passive forms of energy to change functions, unlike our inventions that typically use brute force, like mining ancient carbon and creating a multitude of harmful chemicals. Just like nature, we can create conditions that are conducive to life. Biomimicry can be used to create industry-transforming technologies or to build new industries. 

New designs and technologies inspired through nature_©thenewtonsdesign.com

Biomimicry presents itself as the basis, the foundation of a new research methodology instead of mere serendipity. When approaching biomimicry, it is essential to know the principles of nature from a multidisciplinary perspective to produce a holistic design outcome. The biomimicry approach allows designers to learn from life’s water, energy, and material use strategies and broadens the solution space for creating new solutions.

Designs that mimic nature’s beauty and elegance should not just be on a material or form basis; they should be based on a thorough understanding of the philosophy and principles that make those solutions work successfully. We definitely can and should find a new way that not only benefits humans but the natural environment as well. Represented thoroughly, biomimicry can be used as an integrative architectural design component to create complete unity between the building, the users, and the environment.

References:

  1.     NEWTONS DESIGN. Biomimicry or Biomimetic Architecture. [online]. Available at: https://thenewtonsdesign.com/biomimicry-or-biomimetic-architecture/ [Accessed date: 07/03/2022].
  2.     The Biomimicry Institute (2015). Nine Reasons Why Applying Biomimicry to Built Environment Projects is a Win-Win-Win. [online]. Available at: https://biomimicry.org/next-design-innovation-built-environment-learning-nature/ [Accessed date: 09/03/2022].
  3.     Zack Mortice (2021). Nature Does It Better: Biomimicry in Architecture and Engineering. [online]. Available at: https://redshift.autodesk.com/biomimicry-in-architecture/ [Accessed date: 09/03/2022].
  4.   Amy Coffman Phillips(2015). 9 benefits of blending biomimicry and the built environment. [online]. Available at: https://www.greenbiz.com/article/9-benefits-blending-biomimicry-and-built-environment [Accessed date: 11/03/2022].
Author

She is an Architect and an artist who loves to paint and watch movies a lot!!! A nature enthusiast person loving Nature and believes that conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. She likes to learn new art forms in her spare time.

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