Design — Taking the Nature Route

Nature has been evolving refined mechanisms to survive gracefully on Earth. Organisms have perfected these systems to meet their needs through natural selection and species competition. Natural systems have been “designed” in a way that they follow the concept of recycle, decompose, and purify. Concepts which help us in understanding biology in interiors are briefly explained.

Introduction to Bio mimicry and Eco-Design

Eco Design also known as earth-friendly, is an approach of designing with special consideration about the environmental impact by its use. It contributes to green-living and prevents damage of natural resources, helping us in controlling the pollution which the world has been facing these days.
Similar to the above concept is Bio mimicry, which is an applied science that derives inspiration for solutions to human problems through the study of natural designs, processes and systems. It is the way to innovation and sustainability and interior architecture must move beyond the characteristics of nature. Different people from various backgrounds nowadays are taking cues from organisms in nature and applying those concepts to new technology that is conducive to life

Preserving natural resources

Examples of bio-mimicry are increasing in popularity as we are realizing the importance of sustainability. The aim is to get inspiration from nature and introduce elements of it in our interiors without harming the natural resources.
By keeping the concept in mind, interior designers can help reduce the depletion of natural resources by following a sustainable design which can be done by many ways.

  • Firstly, energy consumption is one of the major contributors to climate change, to save energy spent on lighting; a lot can be done just by picking the right colours. Lighter colours reflect more light, decreasing dependency on artificial light. Window coverings, blinds and shades enable residents to control the building’s temperature in an energy efficient way by opening and shutting them as needed. For this, choose natural fabrics, such as organic linen or wool, and ensure that wood for shutters and blinds comes from renewable sources.
  • To prevent materials from getting discarded too often, designers should consider the lifespan of any material they plan to use, especially for those elements that experience a lot of wear and tear like flooring. Therefore materials such as concrete, bamboo, cork and stone are good green options for flooring as they have built-in durability.
  • A new concept of reusing old materials to produce stylish decor has been trending, known as “up-cycling”. With this you not only give a new life to the object but also enhance the spaces’ spirit and functionality. Using wine barrels to create tables, old suitcases as drawers or centre tables etc. Are few examples.
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Mimicking nature

Nature is by far the richest source of inspiration and knowledge that we have. Over the decades, the field of bio-mimics has shifted from looking towards nature for its overall shape. Sea creatures, crab shells and spider webs are among the species and natural artifacts.

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Designers have looked for inspiration. To name a few, tree-like columns, exhibition spaces inspired by rocks and caves, buildings inspired by soap bubbles or even following the patterns on butterfly wings and using them as artifacts show us how we have been inspired by both flora and fauna and incorporated it in our interior surrounding. Velcro was created in 1941, was inspired from burs, prickly seeds that are known to get attached to animals and clothing upon contact.

Student of California State University -led teams from design methodology class, came up with an innovation for the international Biomimicry Challenge. It was called “Phalanx insulation”,a panel system that can be fixed on the exterior of a building, reducing the interior temperatures of buildings without the need for electricity. The three-layered system has been inspired from flora and fauna -cactus, Saharan camels and silver ants. This invention makes use of wasted water, and ultimately helps us bring down the temperature.

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Top Layer was inspired by the cactus’s ability to shade itself. It would also be coated in a translucent gloss to help reflect more light away from the structure

Middle layer was created to resemble the termite’s mound, channeling air upward and able to retain a lot of heat

Bottom layer was inspired by the ability of wheat to move water vertically and release it. The increased surface area allows it to retain more moisture

Architecture has always been inspired from nature elements be its flora or fauna. Some Incredible masterpieces has been derived from nature and made them by their shapes or structure. It does not look only beautiful but with manner of getting natural light, energy or ventilation.

Nature has always helped human race to make it more accurate and understand them with practical things.

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Lotus temple in New Delhi
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Palm Islands in Dubai
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Olympic Pavilion in Barcelona

In order to advance the environmental justice movement, we need to shift how we think about sustainability to include solutions like bio mimicry because it provides countless opportunities for improving our world. Our world’s finite natural resources are depleting, and it is becoming increasingly urgent to find sustainable solutions to global issues.

Written by

Interior Design Studio www.designradiance.in

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