Biomimicry is comprised of designs inspired by nature; the study of nature, inspiring designs, to solve human problems… for example, hook and loop (Velcro) designed after bur hooks (Yurtkuran, Kirli, & Taneli, 2013). Another great example is Leonardo Da Vinci’s interest in flight, through the study of bird wings, see figure 3. The design should be based on natural science and include biology to be considered biomimetic (El-Zeiny, 2012).
Figure 3: Image of Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketches of birds to understand flight
Leonardo Da Vinci's Inventions, 2017)
Utilizing biomimicry as an approach to the design process happens in one of 2 directions,
1. Identifies the design problem and then looks at the way other organisms or ecosystems have solved it.
2. Identifies a specific trait in an organism and translates that into a design that responds to a human problem. (Yurtkuran, Kirli, & Taneli, 2013)
Biomimetic Architectural Design
For example, in a 2013 study, students were asked to take an arthropod that would help them address a problem. One student picked the Rhinoceros Beetle; see the figure below for their design process. Figure 1 shows sketches of the beetle and its movements. Figure 2 shows the design concept sketches based on the movement and protection of the outer shell of the beetle. Figure 3 displays the model for the project.
Figure 6: Photographs of the model for The Rhinoceros Beetle / Fighting Cage Project
(Yurtkuran, Kirli, & Taneli, 2013)
Biomimicry in Interior Design
Biomimicry is a philosophical approach that can lead to novel ideas and innovative solutions that have many potential advantages, i.e. functional or sustainability perspectives (El-Zeiny, 2012). Biomimicry can be used as a problem solving methodology to create new sustainable standards for interior environments and opens a new avenue of innovative ideas for transforming the environment and enhancing human well-being. The future of architecture and interior design will not only have the inspiration from new technologies but also from nature, butterflies, leaves, flowers, trees, etc.
According to Interior Design magazine (2015), there are 3 current trends in Biomimicry.
1. Building Products
One of the 1st building products to hit the market was inspired by the gecko’s feet and its wall climbing ability, TacTiles glue-free installation system in Figure 7.
Figure 7: Interface FLOR TacTile Carpet Tile Connectors, inspired by gecko feet (EBay, 2017)
2. Growable Forms
Eric Klarenbeek Mycelium Project is working on a mix of spores and organic material to make 3D printable bioplastic strong enough for a chair, Figure 8 shows an example.
Figure 8: Eric Klarenbeek spore and organic chair (Dezeen and Mini Frontiers, 2014)
Bioluminescence is a more readily available trend in biometric design; there are several designers and companies working to develop viable means of illumination by microorganisms. Figure 9 shows Teresa Van Dongen’s One Luminous Light installation; glass tubes hold fluid with bacteria from the skin of an octopus, which causes the blue waves to light up.
Figure 9: ‘One Luminous Dot’ Lighting installation by Teresa Van Dongen
Figure 10: Video of ‘One Luminous Dot’ Lighting installation by Teresa Van Dongen
As technology develops and more research is conducted, Biomimicry will hopefully become more prominent in Interior Design. El-Zeiny (2012) explains that in order to expand biomimetics, education needs to play a significant role, including it into architecture and design programs to make them aware of the potential. He also recommends networks, workshops, and events that could forge the link between designers and biologists.
Anderson, T. (2017) Biomimicry and the invention of Velcro. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/artsyscience/7113372687
Dongen, T. (2017). One Luminous Dot. Retrieved from http://www.teresavandongen.com
EBay. (2017). Interface FLOR TacTiles Carpet Tile Connectors. Retrieved from http://www.ebay.ie/itm/40-x-Interface-FLOR-TacTiles-Carpet-Tile-Connectors-NO-GLUE-NO-VOCs-/161728991599
El-Zeiny, R. M. A. (2012). Biomimicry as a Problem Solving Methodology in Interior Architecture. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 50(Supplement C), 502-512. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.08.054
Gunther, S. (2016) 8 amazing examples of biomimicry. Retrieved from https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/photos/7-amazing-examples-of-biomimicry/burr-velcro
Interior Design Magazine (2015, 2015-11-24). 3 Trends in Biomimicry. Retrieved from http://www.interiordesign.net/articles/11109-3-trends-in-biomimicry/
Leonardo Da Vinci's Inventions. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.leonardodavincisinventions.com/inventions-for-flight/leonardo-da-vincis-glider/
Yurtkuran, S., Kırlı, G., & Taneli, Y. (2013). Learning from Nature: Biomimetic Design in Architectural Education. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 89(Supplement C), 633-639. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.08.907
Allied ASID, BC-A/r, IDEC