Filtered By: Structures
Filter

Molecular movement of plants reveal amazing mechanics

April 20th, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , |

Molecular movement of plants reveal amazing mechanics

While members of the plant kingdom may appear to move only when acted upon by an outside force, time lapse photography of twisting vines, unfurling flowers, or popping seed pods betrays the programed movement of plants. Underlying such dynamics are the juxtaposition of clockwise and counterclockwise “twisted” molecules. According to this My Paper article, scientists in Europe have begun to mimic this principle with exciting potential applications in robotics, medicine, and more.

Curated by Mark Dorfman

How a spider spins key to fabric breakthroughs

April 13th, 2017|Categories: Additive Manufacturing, Materials, Packaging, Structures|Sectors: |

How a spider spins key to fabric breakthroughs

This bio-assisted, rather than biomimicked technology, is an honorable testament to the amazing qualities of spider silk. Using GMO yeast might help Dan Widmaier of Bolt produce a bio-based fiber, the mesmerizing functions of spider silk lie not in the molecular make-up of the silk, but rather the method of extrusion through spider spinnerets, according to this New Yorker article. Combining the chemistry (achievable without GMOs) with the mechanics is the holy grail for truly emulating the spider’s genius.

Curated by Dayna Baumeister

Lightweighting Principles Inspired by Nature

April 11th, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Engineering, Infographic, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , |

Lightweighting Principles Inspired by Nature

During her Synapse webinar, Lightweighting Models Beyond Bones, Biomimicry 3.8 co-founder and author Janine Benyus reviewed a set of twelve lightweighting principles inspired by the natural world. Now, we’ve turned that into an infographic as a quick and easy reference to how nature uses materials efficiently and creatively without compromising functionality.

Curated by Janine Benyus

Fern fractals inspire fast flow that saves energy

April 8th, 2017|Categories: Energy Efficiency, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , |

Fern fractals inspire fast flow that saves energy

Solving the challenge of creating smaller, more efficient batteries enables greater use and application of renewable energy systems. Inspired by the microgeometry of fern leaves, scientists created electrodes that can store more power per unit area while reducing the path that electrons have to follow to complete a circuit, according to this Nature article. Small geometries not only increase efficiency, but are amenable to powering small, wearable devices, or large, regional systems.

Curated by Mark Dorfman

Resilient architecture that helps fight climate change

April 7th, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Business Models, Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Resilience, Structures, Waste, Water, Wellness|Sectors: , |

Resilient architecture that helps fight climate change

Thomas Knittel of McLennan Design has written a thought provoking article in Arcade magazine about his work on an orphanage project in Haiti. Beyond appreciating the form and process inspirations from nature (the strength of tree branching and the filtering ability of bark), I was intrigued by the ecosystem-level thinking that became ingrained in the project. There are not many project teams that are learning resilience lessons from population biology case studies and applying that idea to their buildings, and I found it heartening and valuable.

Curated by Jamie Dwyer

Good things come in nano packages

March 24th, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , |

Good things come in nano packages

Scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have revealed deeper secrets about tiny compartments inside bacteria that enable them to manage chemicals and chemical processes while protecting the rest of the organism. These encapsulation systems could inspire more efficient and effective applications in chemical manufacturing, drug delivery, and material science.

Curated by Mark Dorfman

Engineering, biomimicry fusion creates pavilion that grows

March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Engineering, Life's Principles, Materials, Product Design, Structures|Sectors: , , , , |

Engineering, biomimicry fusion creates pavilion that grows

The Elytra Filament Pavilion is now displaying in Germany. The pavilion, inspired by the hexagonal structures in beetle wings, is woven by a robot. This Inhabitat article mentions that real-time sensing data directs how the pavilion grows, opening the door for new thinking on how robots and engineering can help our designs evolve (as well as meet other Life’s Principles that seem incongruent with the built design).

Curated by Jamie Dwyer

Infographic: Lightweighting Principles Inspired by Nature

March 22nd, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, News, Structures|Sectors: , , |

Infographic: Lightweighting Principles Inspired by Nature

During her recent Synapse webinar, Lightweighting Models Beyond Bones, Janine Benyus reviewed a set of twelve lightweighting principles inspired by the natural world. Now, we’ve turned that into an infographic as a quick and easy reference to how nature uses materials efficiently and creatively without compromising functionality.  Go here to get the free download!

Curated by Erin Rovalo

‘Seedkit’ helps plant biomimicry inspiration for cities of the future

March 18th, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Planning, Policy, Structures, Water|Sectors: , , |

'Seedkit' helps plant biomimicry inspiration for cities of the future

It’s a remarkable (and 100% achievable!) vision: Imagining how nature’s genius can help transform design and create sustainable cities of the future. A new toolkit from Urban Greenprint is exploring how employing biomimicry can manage waterflow, drawing from strategies found in the rainy Pacific Northwest. The wonderfully-named Seedkit allows users to easily explore an awesome set of water management ideas–all inspired by nature.

Curated by Jenna Cederberg

Insect wing flexibility principle adds major turbine oomph

March 11th, 2017|Categories: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Structures|Sectors: |

Insect wing flexibility principle adds major turbine oomph

Lessons from nature don’t always have to be complex. The simple principle of “add flexibility rather than rigidity” helped researchers at Paris-Sorbonne University demonstrate the potential to yield 35% more power from wind turbines. While the challenge now lies in scaling the prototypes, abstracting the simple design principle opened up new ways of thinking about blades.

Curated by Dayna Baumeister