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Architects of Invention's Coral Holiday Apartments Design Utilizes Biomimicry to Resemble Coral in Seychelles

06:00 - 23 June, 2016
Architects of Invention's Coral Holiday Apartments Design Utilizes Biomimicry to Resemble Coral in Seychelles, Courtesy of Architects of Invention
Courtesy of Architects of Invention

Architects of Invention has unveiled their design for the Coral Holiday Apartments, an upscale lifestyle community in Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. Located on the reclaimed portion of the main island of Seychelles, the project will feature professionally serviced apartments, a spa, several restaurants, a clubhouse, a pool, private marina and direct access to the beach.

Let Your Building "Breathe" With This Pneumatic Façade Technology

09:30 - 11 June, 2016

Have you ever seen a building that breathes through thousands of pores? That may now be a possibility thanks to Tobias Becker’s Breathing Skins Project. Based on the concept of biomimicry, the technology is inspired by organic skins that adjust their permeability to control the necessary flow of light, matter and temperature between the inside and the outside. In addition to these performative benefits, the constantly changing appearance of these façades provides a rich interplay between the exterior natural environment and interior living spaces.

Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project +8

Financial Times Article Details How Biomimicry Can be Applied to Architecture

14:00 - 5 June, 2016
Financial Times Article Details How Biomimicry Can be Applied to Architecture, © Flickr CC User kudumomo
© Flickr CC User kudumomo

In a recent article published by the Financial Times, architect and public speaker Michael Pawlyn delves into how biomimicry can be applied to architecture in order to solve design problems and create a more sustainable future. Even in very early examples, biomimicry has been critical in the development of architecture, for example when Filippo Brunelleschi studied eggshells to create a thinner and lighter dome for his cathedral in Florence. In a modern example, biomimicry has been utilized—through the examination of termite mounds—to create cool environments without air conditioning in warm climates such as in Zimbabwe. 

Elytra Filament Pavilion Explores Biomimicry at London's Victoria and Albert Museum

08:00 - 25 May, 2016
Elytra Filament Pavilion Explores Biomimicry at London's Victoria and Albert Museum , © NAARO via the V&A
© NAARO via the V&A

The Victoria and Albert Museum has unveiled its latest installation: the Elytra Filament Pavilion, a project displaying the culmination of four years of research on the integration of architecture, engineering, and biomimicry principles, in an exploration of how biological fiber systems can be transferred to architecture.

The 200-square-meter structure is inspired by lightweight construction principles found in nature, namely "the fibrous structures of the forewing shells of flying beetles known as elytra," states a press release.

LifeObject: Israel Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale to Study the Relationship Between Biology and Architecture

08:00 - 19 May, 2016
LifeObject: Israel Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale to Study the Relationship Between Biology and Architecture, LifeObject Close-Up. Image Courtesy of Xhibtion
LifeObject Close-Up. Image Courtesy of Xhibtion

Israel has unveiled its theme for the 2016 Venice Biennale: “LifeObject: Merging Architecture and Biology”. Their pavilion will be comprised of a large-scale sculptural installation and seven speculative architectural scenarios relating to Israel. The exhibition will focus on the relationship between biology and architecture, acting as a “research oriented platform.”

Architectural Innovation Inspired by Nature

06:00 - 3 March, 2015
Architectural Innovation Inspired by Nature, © Flickr CC User kudumomo
© Flickr CC User kudumomo

From bricks grown from bacteria to cement derived from the reef building process of coral, biomimicry has taken the world by storm. A collection of products inspired by this phenomenon are showcased in Bloomberg’s article “14 Smart Inventions Inspired by Nature: Biomimicry,” ranging from transportation breakthroughs to ingenious feats of engineering. Read on after the break for two highlighted architectural inventions inspired by the natural world.  

Video: Agence Chartier-Corbasson Talks Organic Skyscrapers

00:00 - 14 February, 2015

© Crane.tv
© Crane.tv

Zaha Hadid's Student Envisions an Antarctic Port For Tourism and Research

01:00 - 25 September, 2014
Zaha Hadid's Student Envisions an Antarctic Port For Tourism and Research, Courtesy of Sergiu-Radu Pop
Courtesy of Sergiu-Radu Pop

Antarctic icebergs morph into a sprawling multi-functional hub for research, transport and accommodation in one of the latest projects to come out of Zaha Hadid's Studio at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Designed by architecture student Sergiu-Radu Pop, the project hypothesizes a point of arrival for the world's final frontier of development. The project employs biomimicry as a primary design tool, replicating the jagged asymmetrical edges of ice formations along the coast of the southern ocean. 

Enter the Transformable Antarctic Research Facility with more photos and info after the break

Courtesy of Sergiu-Radu Pop Courtesy of Sergiu-Radu Pop Courtesy of Sergiu-Radu Pop Courtesy of Sergiu-Radu Pop +17

Animal Printheads, Biomimicry and More: How Nature Will Shape the Built Environment of the Future

00:00 - 8 August, 2014
Animal Printheads, Biomimicry and More: How Nature Will Shape the Built Environment of the Future , © John Becker
© John Becker

Biomimicry is quickly emerging as one of the next architectural frontiers. New manufacturing processes such as 3D printing, coupled with the drive to make buildings more environmentally sustainable, have led to a wave of projects that are derived from natural phenomena or even constructed with biological materials. A recent example of this trend is “Hy-Fi,” this summer’s MoMA PS1 design that is constructed of organic and compostable eco-bricks. Other projects such as MIT Media Lab’s Silk Pavilion have taken biological innovation a step further by actually using a biometric construction processes - around 6,500 silkworms wove the Silk Pavilion's membrane. “Animal Printheads,” as Geoff Manaugh calls them in his article "Architecture-By-Bee and Other Animal Printheads," have already proven to be a viable part of the manufacturing process in art, and perhaps in the future, the built environment as well. But what happens when humans engineer animals to 3D print other materials?

The Living’s Hy-Fi, winning design of the 2014 Young Architects Program. The Museum of Modern Art and MoMAPS1. Image © The Living MIT Media Lab's Silk Pavilion. Image © Steven Keating Silkworms weaving MIT Media Lab's Silk Pavilion. Image © Steven Keating © John Becker +10

When Biology Inspires Architecture: An Interview with Doris Kim Sung

01:00 - 14 May, 2014
When Biology Inspires Architecture: An Interview with Doris Kim Sung , Much of dO|Su Studio Architecture's work is with Thermal-Bimetals, a laminated sheet metal material that can expand and contract at different temperatures. Image © Brandon Shigeta
Much of dO|Su Studio Architecture's work is with Thermal-Bimetals, a laminated sheet metal material that can expand and contract at different temperatures. Image © Brandon Shigeta

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural materials in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Before attending Columbia University for her Masters in Architecture, Los Angeles-based architect Doris Kim Sung took a fairly non-traditional approach to becoming an architect: she was a biologist. Naturally then, Sung’s architectural work tends to take inspiration from the biological world, particularly in the way she experiments and innovates with materials. Much of her work involves thermal bimetals, a material that expands and contracts with temperature swings; it can even act as a sun shade and ventilation system, without the need for electricity.

So where does a biologist-turned-architect draw inspiration from? We interviewed Ms. Sung to find out for ourselves -- the responses, like her work at dO|Su Architecture, are simply fascinating.  

Bricks Grown From Bacteria

00:00 - 1 February, 2014
Bricks Grown From Bacteria, Courtesy of bioMason
Courtesy of bioMason

A unique biotechnology start-up company have developed a method of growing bricks from nothing more than bacteria and naturally abundant materials. Having recently won first place in the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation ChallengebioMason has developed a method of growing materials by employing microorganisms. Arguing that the four traditional building materials - concrete, glass, steel and wood - both contain a significant level of embodied energy and heavily rely on limited natural resources, their answer is in high strength natural biological cements (such as coral) that can be used "without negative impacts to the surrounding environment."

Silk Pavilion / MIT Media Lab

00:00 - 6 June, 2013
Silk Pavilion / MIT Media Lab, © Steven Keating
© Steven Keating

"Our research integrates computational form-finding strategies with biologically inspired fabrication", claims the 'about' page of MIT Media Lab's Mediated Matter Group. Though this may sound like run-of-the-mill architectural boasting, you are unlikely to find any more exemplary combination of scientific research, digital design and biomimetic construction than their recently completed Silk Pavilion.

© Steven Keating © Steven Keating © Markus Kayser Schematics of the human-constructed portion of the pavilion © Jorge Duro-Royo +9

Vertebrae Staircase / Andrew McConnell

01:00 - 9 February, 2013
Courtesy of Andrew McConnell
Courtesy of Andrew McConnell

Inspired by the spine of a whale, the Vertebrae Staircase is not simply mimicry of organic form but an exploration in shaping structure. Much of the design work went into refining the single component, or vertebra, that mate with each other creating a unified spine running from floor plate to floor plate. These interlocking vertebrae create a rigid and self-supporting structure. 

More on Andrew McConnell's 'Vertebrae Staircase' after the break.

TEDx: Metal that breathes / Doris Kim Sung

15:00 - 14 November, 2012

Biology student turn architect, Doris Kim Sung has dedicated her studies to the infinite possibilities of thermobimetals, smart materials that respond dynamically to temperature change. As tested with DO|SU Studio Architecture’s recent installation “Bloom”, whose surface is completely fabricated with thermobimetal, these smart materials are capable of relieving our dependence on energy-inefficient mechanical systems with their self-shading and self-ventilating properties.

Imagine a building skin capable of maintaining thermal comfort in an environmentally responsible and cost effective way by responsively mimicking the characteristics of human skin.

Interview: Michael Pawlyn on Biomimicry

13:00 - 17 November, 2011
Abalone Shell : Photo by Gilly Walker - http://www.flickr.com/photos/27863935@N03/
Abalone Shell : Photo by Gilly Walker - http://www.flickr.com/photos/27863935@N03/

The Economist featured an interview with Michael Pawlyn discussing sustainable architecture inspired by nature. Michael Pawlyn is known for his passionate investigations of the unique, efficient structures of natural organisms and how they may translate through design. Biomimicry has been an important topic amongst the innovators and educators who are learning from the 3.8 billion years invested into the design of our natural world.

The shell of an abalone is “twice as strong as the toughest man-made ceramic.”

Continue reading for the complete interview.