Introducing Awestruck Biophilic Design - bringing the outdoors indoors through the exploration of wellbeing

Biomimicry Design in Interior Architecture

 

 

Giles Miller Studio. Photograph by John Miller

As technology evolves our connection with the outside world decreases. Biomimicry is a way that many people are incorporating nature into their world through a variety of materials and medias.

Photography by Roland Halbe

Photography by Roland Halbe, Universität Stuttgart Uses Robotics and Biomimicry to Create an Outdoor Event Pavillion

Biomimicry was originally defined by Janine Benyus in 1997, as imitating or taking inspiration from nature’s forms and processes to solve problems for humans. Benyus was a biologist and leader of the emerging discipline of biomimicry, one of her key points of this discipline was for the need to imitate nature to ensure a more sustainable future. To live on this planet, we need to live a sustaining lifestyle and adapt to evolving changes in order to develop and grow this planet. Although Benyus and leaders of biomimicry stated that although the structure is an obvious part of nature, mimicking natural forms alone neglects the point. Instead the full emulation of nature engages at least three levels of mimicry: ecosystem, form and process.

Naturalist Janine Benyus has helped pioneer the field of biomimicry

Naturalist Janine Benyus has helped pioneer the field of biomimicry

Biomimicry is more than just replicating natural objects or systems or even just simply designing something that you would consider green or sustainable.

  1. Firstly, it involves the close inspection of an ecosystem or organism.
  2. Then the mindful application of the original design principles found in a natural solution.

Learning about nature is a lot more different than learning from nature. As nature has tested patterns over time and solutions all around us. Biomimicry is the study and application of natural solutions to design challenges. As Janine Benyus says, “Nature is imaginative by necessity and has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with today,”.

Lotus Temple, New Delhi. Credit : Reddit

Lotus Temple, New Delhi. Credit : Reddit

Biomimicry in Interior Architecture

When interior designers talk about their designs being influenced by nature, they are talking about the designs appearance as it has an organic shape. Nature is great for inspiration by looking at natural colours, texture and forms but this alone isn’t biomimetics. Dr Julian Vincent states “biomimetics has to have some biology in it”. Therefore, design should be inspired by nature’s science, not just its look to be truly biomimetic. Biomimicry is great example of good design! As it can lead to innovative solutions and ideas as well as sustainable and functional perspectives.

PAVILION • HONG KONG (SAR), Designed by Architects: Emmi Keskisarja, Kristof Crolla (LEAD) and Sebastien Delagrange (LEAD), Pekka Tynkkynen. Photography by Pekka Tynkkynen, Emmi Keskisarja

PAVILION • HONG KONG (SAR), Designed by Architects: Emmi Keskisarja, Kristof Crolla (LEAD) and Sebastien Delagrange (LEAD), Pekka Tynkkynen. Photography by Pekka Tynkkynen, Emmi Keskisarja

The current trend in interior design is an organic style with smooth flowing forms and curvy details. A great example of this, is the curved spiral shell house designed by Senosianin Arquitectos and was inspired by a seashell. The odd forms of the exterior continue to bind and connect each space. The interior reflects the exterior structure with organic patterns, winding stone paths and filled with lots of plants. The design mimics the colours, shapes and patterns of nature and can be seen as a sustainable structure due to it being earthquake proof and involving low maintenance. Although it is not biomimic design at all.

Creative, Colorful & Curved Spiral Shell House Design by Senosiain Arquitectos , Credit - By Dornob Staff

Creative, Colorful & Curved Spiral Shell House Design by Senosiain Arquitectos , Credit - By Dornob Staff

Creative, Colorful & Curved Spiral Shell House Design by Senosiain Arquitectos , Credit - By Dornob Staff

Creative, Colorful & Curved Spiral Shell House Design by Senosiain Arquitectos , Credit - By Dornob Staff

Creative, Colorful & Curved Spiral Shell House Design by Senosiain Arquitectos , Credit - By Dornob Staff

Creative, Colorful & Curved Spiral Shell House Design by Senosiain Arquitectos , Credit - By Dornob Staff

Moreover, designers Kulper and Roy attempted to link architecture with biology. They designed a cell shaped building for the Institute of Nano Biomedical Technology and Membrane Biology in Chengdu, China. The intention of this design was to create a building to look like a cell from the exterior and then in the interior to create forms inspired by molecular biology. The garden design inside the cell shaped building included biologically inspired feature pools which are in the shape of endosmosis and mitochondria.

Designed a building in the shape of a cell for the Institute for Nanobiomedical Technology and Membrane Biology in Chengdu, China.Image courtesy / Sloan Kulper, Audrey Roy, and Shuguang Zhang

Designed a building in the shape of a cell for the Institute for Nanobiomedical Technology and Membrane Biology in Chengdu, China.Image courtesy / Sloan Kulper, Audrey Roy, and Shuguang Zhang

Designed a building in the shape of a cell for the Institute for Nanobiomedical Technology and Membrane Biology in Chengdu, China.Image courtesy / Sloan Kulper, Audrey Roy, and Shuguang Zhang

Designed a building in the shape of a cell for the Institute for Nanobiomedical Technology and Membrane Biology in Chengdu, China.Image courtesy / Sloan Kulper, Audrey Roy, and Shuguang Zhang

Function of Biomimicry in interior architecture

 David Oakey designs

Oakey designers created Entropy, which is inspired by the random patterns of forest floor, achieving environmental advantages not found with other carpet tiles. This is because the subtly shaded carpet tiles blend together like leaves, without having to follow a strict regimented pattern, this makes it easier to match the replacement tiles, less scraps and easy to install whilst leading to a reduction of waste. This shows that biomimicry can benefit both building owners and facility managers.

Human Connections by David Oakey Designs - Interface

Human Connectionsby David Oakey Designs - Interface 

Human Connections by David Oakey Designs - Interface

Human Connections by David Oakey Designs - Interface 

Smart Paints

Smart paints use a self-cleaning technique derived from the lotus leaf, which is a solution based approach as the lotus leaf was the point of change for the design. This all depends on the relationship between the organism and it’s living community. As the paint surface reflects the shape of the densely packed bumps, just like the bumps found on the lotus leaves. An advantage of it having such tiny bumps is that it prevents water drop from spreading out and the drops will roll off the surface instead, taking the dirt with them.

Weingut Keller The StoCalce range of naturally bound finishes & levellers provides the perfect combination of ecology and design. Credit STO

Weingut Keller The StoCalce range of naturally bound finishes & levellers provides the perfect combination of ecology and design. Credit STO

Hotel Side A complete range of functional paints and coating for the harshest of interior conditions. Credit STO

Hotel Side A complete range of functional paints and coating for the harshest of interior conditions. Credit STO

Faz Pavilion

The Faz Pavilion is another great example located in Frankfurt; the summer pavilion provides an interior extension to this public space. By responding to weather changes from a simple material element that is a responsive structure, embedded sensor with no energy moto and regulating element. The exterior is fully opened on sunny days with low ambient humidity and then when it begins to rain the ambient humidity triggers a rapid autonomous response and the structure will close and form a weatherproof skin.

FAZ Pavilion Frankfurt, 2010 Achim Menges, Scheffler + Partner

FAZ Pavilion Frankfurt, 2010 Achim Menges, Scheffler + Partner

FAZ Pavilion Frankfurt, 2010 Achim Menges, Scheffler + Partner

FAZ Pavilion Frankfurt, 2010 Achim Menges, Scheffler + Partner

All these case studies have shown that by addressing environmental issues at habitat scale, creates significant sustainable outcomes. Therefore, studying nature will help us to discover sustainable and effective solutions to the most important issues in our interior environments such as day lighting, durability, productivity, energy efficiency and thermal comfort.

Pop-up Pavilion by BOWOOSS Research Project, Saarbrücken, Germany

Pop-up Pavilion by BOWOOSS Research Project, Saarbrücken, Germany

In the future, the interior spaces we live in and work in might be designed to function like living organisms, where they are specifically adapted to a place and are able to provide all of the needs for energy and water from surrounding nature. Therefore, architecture and design will have inspiration not from machines and technology of the 21st century but from the bird that flies in the sky or the flower that exists in the surrounding landscape.

Material + Force = Form,  Material + Force = Form: Musical Instrument Museum for Yale   Faculty: John Patkau (website), Timothy Newton 2014

Material + Force = Form: Musical Instrument Museum for Yale   Faculty: John Patkau (website), Timothy Newton 2014

Biophilic Medical Summit 

Wednesday, 2nd September 2020

7pm BST . 2PM EST . 11am PST

We will be hosting a summit on Biophilia and the medical impact in interiors we live, work and play in. We have lined up special guest speakers who are fabulous and will speak on the importance of  Biophilia in interior design.

SIGN UP HERE