Biomimicry, An Approach Towards Future of Design and Sustainability (2024)

Biomimicry, An Approach Towards Future of Design and Sustainability (2)

You have discovered your place in developing regenerative solutions, whether you are a student, parent, educator, businessperson, or concerned citizen.

Over three billion years of research, nature has evolved and solved many problems of animals, plants and other organisms which have engineered themselves to survive, thrive this far without producing any waste and being very efficient with resources. Therefore, mimicking nature’s forms, systems and processes offer an opportunity to maximize resource efficiency while mitigating the negative impact of buildings on the environment

Biomimicry is the emulation or imitation of nature in many forms, systems, and processes to solve the most pressing challenges faced by the world today. Biomimicry methods have so far proven to optimize in terms of sustainability and efficiency particularly in various fields of design.

Biomimicry is also known as biometics is a term coined by American Otto Schmitt to cover aspects of nature-inspired designs. It is a major term used by various bio designers the term covers bionics, robotics, and animatronics.

Early examples of biomimicry were seen in Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketches of a flying machine which was inspired by the wings of a bat. Another example comes from Fillipo Brunelleschi who studied the strength of an eggshell and designed a thinner, lighter dome for the cathedral in Florence in 1436. In 1809, Naval architect Sir George Cayley designed ship hulls more streamlined by studying dolphins. A more famous example that occurred in 1948 was by St. George American state Mestral, a Swiss engineer took his dog out looking and it emerged from the bushes covered in burrs. Once examining the little hooks of the burrs, he discovered a hook system employed by the plant to unfold seeds by attachment galvanized by this, American state Mestral created Velcro.

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Throughout history, architects and product designers have principally taken inspiration from nature entirely for building forms and aesthetics.Biomimicry in design is an applied science that procures not only the aesthetic components of nature but additionally takes lessons from nature to solve problems with practicality. This approach follows a group of ethics rather than taking a theoretical approach. Technology is advancing to a brand new level that can accommodate the planning of buildings and products that are essential to the natural atmosphere and will support nature’s work instead of working against it. Biomimicry has gained tons of popularity within the last ten years to solve problems with sustainability whereas minimizing the negative impact on nature.

Sustainability is advancing to a new level now it has become a foundation stone for the environment to be resource-efficient and biomimicry helps to further expand upon system thinking through ‘principles’ that include interdependence, integrating processes and transdisciplinary.

Biomimicry has gained a great deal of popularity within the last ten years to resolve problems with sustainability, minimizing the negative impact on nature. There are 3 objectives, keeping with Head (2008) to reaching the alleged “Ecological Age” by the year 2050, these include; “CO2 emission reduction by eightieth, ecological footprint reduction to one.44ga/person and to extend human development index improvement.”

There is a big responsibility for architects and designers to develop the best ecological strategies for improvement in the environment through products. This involves integrating natural ecological systems into their designs keeping in mind the human behavior patterns. This study can take a large amount of investigation through biomimicry in various fields of design.

The research will look at existing projects in which the designers looked to nature for inspiration to solve issues faced in their design process to provide insight into the level of biomimicry designers have developed. The aim of this research is to shed light on biomimicry as an approach to showcase how it will facilitate the issue of sustainability and regenerative design.

The type of research used in this study comprises an examination of the latest researches relating to Biomimicry in different fields. The study investigates how and why various designers applied Biomimicry methods into their projects. It will look at the levels of Biomimicry and conduct case studies under each level of the projects. Organism level, behavioral level, and ecosystem level.

Organism Level

The organism level approach might facilitate grasping the negative environmental impact that human activities have on the world and several of its ecosystems. For billions of years, organisms have withstood, and tailored to several changes over time. Humans thus have a large type of examples to review and draw solutions for issues that have already been addressed, within the use of energy, materials, and technology effectively. As Baumeister (2007) points out, “The research has already been done”. (Alberti et al. 2003) A disadvantage, how it interacts and contributes to how it interacts and contributes to the ecosystem at the larger context, it has the potential to produce designs that are below average in terms of the effect it will have on the environment.

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This building takes inspiration from the Venus Flower Basket Sponge (see Figure below). This sponge sits in underwater surroundings with water currents and its lattice-like skeleton system and forms disperse those stresses in numerous directions and its form reduces forces due to water currents.

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The curving sides enable winds to pass simply round the building, instead of deflecting all the way down to the street level to blast pedestrians. As a result, additional air will flow around the facet of a cylinder than the corner of a parallelogram, its speed will increase, inflicting a better negative air potential at the rear of the building. Architects Norman Foster and Sons used this to drive a natural mechanical system

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Inspired by the polygonal shape skin of the Venus flower sponge, the main structure of the building is Aluminium coated steel diagrid structure. Yoram Eilon, vice president of engineering firm WSP Cantor Seinuk, describes the Diagrid structure as “a series of triangles that mix gravity and lateral support into one, creating the building to be stiff, economical and lighter than a conventional high- rise”. The Diagrid divides the tower height into a series of modules this is often stated as a vertical cantilever. This separate structure has no columns that permit for uninterrupted interior workplace area with revolving triangular atrium.

The building has a 5-degree rotation between every floor plate to include wedge-shaped light wells. These light wells permit light, and air to reach every floor of the building. (See Figure above) A double-skin façade was selected to maximize sun exposure. The outer skin of the building consists of mullions and triangular formed windows, while the inner wall is formed of slippery glass doors made accessible solely to maintenance. In between the 2 walls may be an area with a row of horizontal shading devices. These double walls also contain discharge flaps to permit hot air to travel up and out of the building.

Another advantage of this is it has passive cooling, heating, ventilating and lighting techniques through the use of a double skin façade. In addition, the use of rotated floor slabs produces light wells, which provide each floor with natural daylighting and ventilation.

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This design does create some disadvantages and threats. A massive building like the Gherkin Tower created of glass offers rise to a couple of issues that present a danger to its users, as was the case one of amongst many glass panels fell off in 2005 when a window fell from the twenty-eighth floor to the plaza below. Another downside within the design of glass skyscrapers is the sun glare from the glass. This creates discomfort for the pedestrians, and drivers below might end up in accidents as the strong glare may disrupt your vision. Despite this, the gherkin tower does prove more efficient than others.

Behavioral Level

The behavioral level is based on the actual fact that a huge number of organisms have learned to work within the capacity of specific environmental conditions and within the limits of energy, and material availability, they encounter the same environmental conditions that humans do and thus, need to solve similar problems that humans face. These limits, as well as pressures that make condition adaptations in ecosystems, mean not only well-adapted organisms continue to evolve, however, all well-adapted organism behaviors and relationship patterns between organisms or species.


It is a line of clothing, mainly T-shirts and shorts that changed color with heat. This line of clothing takes inspiration from the chameleon.

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The product contains a thermochromic pigment made by Matsui Shikiso Chemical of Japan, that changed between two colors — one when cold, one when warm. The shirts were produced with several color change choices beginning in 1991. The effect could easily be permanently damaged, particularly when the clothing was washed in hotter than recommended water, ironed, bleached, or tumble-dried.

At low temperatures, the mixture is solid. The weak acid forms a colored complex with the leuco dye by inflicting the lactone ring within the center of the dye molecule to open. At high temperatures, higher than 24–27 °C, the solvent melts, and also the ammonium ion salt dissociates, allowing it to react with the weak acid.

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Therefore, at the low temperature, the color of the shirt is that the combination of the color of the encapsulated colored dye with the color of the unreal cloth, whereas at higher temperatures the capsules become colorless and the color of the material prevails.

This design does create some future scopes for this technology to be more user-friendly as though, after a handful of washes, or one laundering misstep in too-hot water, the magic powers faded and the shirt froze permanently into a purple-brown mushy a disadvantage whereas other steps taken by the company are recommendable. This set of chemicals can even harm the environment and human acts.

Ecosystem Level

Benyus (1997) and Vincent (2007) describe the mimicking of ecosystems as an integral part of biomimicry. An advantage of mimicking at this level of biomimicry is that it can be utilized in conjunction with alternative levels of biomimicry (organism and behavior). The foremost important advantage of such an approach to biomimetic style, however, is also the potential positive effects on overall environmental performance.

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The cardboard to caviar project (also known as the “ABLE project”) is an example of a closed-loop system in which no waste is created and much greater productivity is yielded. Graham Wiles initiated this project, at each stage of the project; he applied the biomimetic principle of mistreatment waste as a resource to feed another method. The project begins with grouping empty cardboard boxes from restaurants and using them as horse bedding within the stables. The soiled cardboard is then collected and wont to establish a wormery composting system. With the abundance of bait, Wiles determined to ascertain a small-scale Siberian sturgeon work. The ganoid fish then produces caviar, which is oversubscribed back to the restaurants. This demonstrated the possibility to show what would be thought-about a waste material into a high worth product whereas also generating various social, economic and environmental advantages (Michael Pawlyn, 2011).

Project: Habitat 2020

Biomimicry design isn’t solely adapting the design from nature, however also considering a way to use nature’s effective functions like heating and cooling system, protecting natural light and ventilation.

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One of the foremost effective ways in which to chop down the ecological footprint of buildings is to follow the lead of nature through biomimicry. The habitat 2020 building visualized for china is a future-forward example of a biomimetic design 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 scheme. Within this cityscape, buildings open, close, breathe and adapt according to their environment.

The habitat 2020 building radically alters the perception of a structure’s surface. The outside has been designed as a living skin, instead of a system of inert materials used for construction and protection. The skin behaves sort of membrane that is an affiliation between the exterior and interior of the environs. Or else, the skin is also considered as the leaf surface having many stomata cellular openings involved in gaseous exchange.

Application of Biomimicry principles and aspects has become a reality by exploring the basic facts for design ways. It can be used as a realization tool for various subject area design problems and a sustainable built atmosphere. The paper highlights the journey of realization of biometrics as a model, principles, and way too real out of box solutions and approaches.

It demands the integration of multiple disciplines working along to provide buildings and systems that are not solely useful to its users. However, also give back to nature. Once enforced well, imitating may prove advantageous within the field of design and human life as an entire. The greatest limitation of this study is that though several architects and designers have an interest in taking the inspiration from nature, a widespread application of biomimicry as a design technique remains largely unrealized because of this there are very small variety of existing firms that have really integrated biomimicry at a grand scale in theory and in practice.

Although this discourse tends to be on paper at the present time, the concepts are still to be tested against time in design. Sustainability and regenerative ecosystems that have the potential to remodel the design and take to the next level.

In conclusion, biomimicry can change and bring sustainability to design in a multitude of ways. By drawing inspiration from the natural world, designers can develop more efficient and sustainable products, systems, and manufacturing processes. Biomimicry has the potential to revolutionize the way we design and manufacture products, resulting in a more sustainable future for all.

Biomimicry, An Approach Towards Future of Design and Sustainability (2024)
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