APPROACHES TO BIOMIMICRY:Approaches to biomimicry as a design process typically fall into two categories:
1. Defining a human need or design problem and looking to the ways other organisms or ecosystems solve this, termed here design looking to biology
2. Identifying a particular characteristic, behavior or function in an organism or ecosystem and translating that into human designs, referred to as biology influencing the design
1. DESIGN LOOKING TO BIOLOGY
• The approach where designers look to the living world for solutions requires designers to identify problems and biologists to then match these to organisms that have solved similar issues.
• Biological analogs are matched with human identified design problems but the issue of how buildings relate to each other and the ecosystems they are part of is not examined.
Designers are able to research potential biomimetic solutions without an in depth scientific understanding or even collaboration with a biologist or ecologist if they are able to observe organisms or ecosystems or are able to access available biological research. With a limited scientific understanding, however, translation of such biological knowledge to a human design setting has the potential to remain at a shallow level.
BIONIC CAR BY DAIMLER CHRYSLER:
• In looking to create a large volume, small wheelbase car, the design for the car was based on the boxfish (ostracion Meleagris), a surprisingly aerodynamic fish given its box like shape.
• The chassis and structure of the car are also biomimetic, having been designed using a computer modeling method based upon how trees are able to grow in a way that minimizes stress concentrations.
• The resulting structure looks almost skeletal, as the material is allocated only to the places where it is most needed
2. BIOLOGY INFLUENCING DESIGN :
When biological knowledge influences human design, the collaborative design process is initially dependant on people having knowledge of relevant biological or ecological research rather than on determined human design problems.
Biology may influence humans in ways that might be outside a predetermined design problem, resulting in previously unthought-of technologies or systems or even approaches to design solutions.
Biological research must be conducted and then identified as relevant to a design context. Biologists and ecologists must therefore be able to recognize the potential of their research in the creation of novel applications.
LOTUSAN PAINT BY STO:
The scientific analysis of the lotus flower emerging clean from swampy waters, which led to many design innovations like Sto’s Lotusan paint which enables buildings to be self cleaning.