Architecture has the power to transform our living environment. It is an Art which can be turned into reality. The world we imagined is right in front of us. We have advanced drastically in technology but we still have a long way to go. Architecture is known to give our lives a purpose and make life on earth meaningful. To support this ever-increasing population one needs to be well equipped to balance the demand and supply ratio.
We always imagine what future cities would look like. If we even consider the next 25 years we might not see or live what we are today. Man being a covetous animal wants to draw his own boundaries. He has an ever-expanding footprint showcasing his ownership. Presently in 2021, we have already experienced the changing pattern of cities. Due to the rapid increase in population, the pace of urbanization has amplified. A city has its own bearing capacity which is now observed to be going over the edges.
Our world is going through a paradigm shift where we have to realise that we are a part of this ecosystem on the earth and every step we take is either going to heal or injure the bodies and the landscape in which we all live. So it is upon us whether to bring in nature or expand our imprint. The human drive to build was derived from the basic need of having a shelter to protect ourselves from the elements that threaten us.
But today we have gone beyond that, our buildings express our livelihood, our culture and beliefs and our value system individually and collectively. They have become our pride, our wealth, the status of taste and a symbol of security. This in turn means that buildings help in protecting and nurturing man who has been living in these physical bodies, born from Mother Nature. The advances in technology and materials have created a big divide between man and nature taking us closer to this synthetic artificial environment offering very little.
Man and Nature
Man has always tried to come closer to the natural environment in the midst of this concrete jungle that he has built for himself. It can be through the little calendar with pictures of nature hanging on the wall or a small plant on his study table. We long to connect to the natural setups, textures, patterns and colours because it is from them that we are born.
What is happening today to our cities is like cancer where one part outgrows the other and destroys the host in return. Massive energy is used in constructing our buildings and then conditioning, the scrap is disposed of into the landfills creating a stream of waste neither useful nor healthy for the environment and the ones living. The effect being quite catastrophic.
What can be done in such a situation? How can we maintain harmony? How do we see our future to be? Can we build with nature welcoming him instead of going against? With all the technological progress we can go wild with our creativity benefiting both nature and man. Buildings nourish and enhance the health of the people and the earth upon which they stand. We have so much to learn from nature as a model, measure and a mentor.
Biomimicry is the way forward. Inspired by the patterns of nature one can create a larger community where one cell lives inside another in harmony. Achieving sustainable solutions which have the minimum impact to the surrounding is of utmost importance and is the need of the hour. Biomimicry helps to sustainably support our innovations resulting in a win-win situation for all. It would be a scientific approach to design which considers nature as an inspiration and builds our construction techniques on the principles that originate in nature. The biomimetic revolution will help man to learn from nature instead of just exploiting it for his progression.
“To see Life as a whole—to observe what all life has in common—requires a shift in the way we normally look at things. We must look beyond the individual insect or tree or flower and seek a more panoramic perspective. We need to think as much about process as we do about structure. From this expanded viewpoint, we can see life in terms of patterns and rules. Using these rules, life builds, organizes, recycles, and re-creates itself.”
—Mahlon Bush Hoagland (biologist)
Imagine a world that responds in a way to the changing arrays of his natural surroundings would give a drastic twirl to the current environmental issues. We the people would be living inside a breathing cell and this will help release the pressure on mother Earth. Transforming local ecosystems into natural ecosystems and reaching a balance between the built and the non-built.
“Nature and natural processes are the guiding principles or the main metaphors of the design approach.”