Sustainable Cities™

Biomimicry: Design Inspired by Nature

Nature is a combination of resilient and dynamic forces that creates a landscape of process and change. Man-made forces, such as technology, social behavior and economic activity, are vastly different in comparison to nature, constructing often static urban environments. Biomimicry is a design approach in which nature’s technology is infused with the human environment.

closeup

Nature is a combination of resilient and dynamic forces that creates a landscape of process and change.  Man-made forces, such as technology, social behavior and economic activity, are vastly different in comparison to nature, constructing often static urban environments. Biomimicry is a design approach in which nature's technology is infused with the human environment.

Mimicry, or imitation, is the highest form of flattery yet that does not suffice in regards to urban planning and construction. Biomimicry involves a thorough understanding of the science underlying an adaptive structure or strategy before applying it. The opportunities for inspiration, innovation and design are as abundant as the millions of species we inhabit this world with, each having developed a strategy for only surviving, but thriving under changing conditions.

commerical towers

(Photo credit HOK Studio)

Commercial Towers Central Park I & II, New Songdo City, South Korea

HOK, a Seattle based architecture firm, has designed a series of residential and mixed-use towers within the New Songdo City. To achieve the twisting look the clients desired but prevent the tower from buckling in heavy winds, HOK designed a structure with supporting walls that stagger out and upward from the center. The inspiration behind the design came from honeycombs. Similar to the hexagonal parts of a honeycomb, the supporting walls hug the core like puzzle pieces, creating a balanced and secure structure with no wasted space.

Block D22 and D23 form a gateway to the northern residential neighborhood and borders Central Park as the "Fifth Avenue" of New Songdo City.  The development, although considered highly controversial for being constructed on an intertidal wetland, make a statement for a high international standard of living and sustainable design. The properties, which consist of six 50-story towers, accommodate state-of-the-art technology, live-in work amenities and retail space. define the northern edge of the city.

Biomimicry has a huge potential in helping cities face the intense challenges proposed by climate change. With a mindset of physical readiness to adapt, and a delicate outlook to unexpected change, a new vision of urban environments can emerge. 

 

Read More:

Sustainable Sites Initiative: Washington D.C. Canal Park

Renewable Public Art: The Land Art Generator Initiative

Monday, March 04, 2013 / By George Peter Surovov

Last updated Monday, April 07, 2014

Comments

}