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Biomimicry – finding design inspiration in nature

Biomimicry – finding design inspiration in nature
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Biomimetics One cloudless midsummer day in February, Andrew Parker, an evolutionary biologist, knelt in the baking red sand of the Australian outback just south of Alice Springs and eased the right hind leg of a thorny devil into a dish of water. The maneuver was not as risky as it sounds: Though covered with sharp spines, the lizard stood only about an inch high at the shoulder, and it looked up at Parker apprehensively, like a baby dinosaur that had lost its mother. It seemed too cute for its harsh surroundings, home to an alarmingly high percentage of the world's most venomous snakes, including the inland taipan, which can kill a hundred people with an ounce of its venom, and the desert death adder, whose name pretty well says it all. This the thorny devil knows, with an elegance and certainty that fascinated Parker beyond all thought of snakebite or sunstroke. Parker’s work is only a small part of an increasingly vigorous, global biomimetics movement. “Ah-ha!” Enter the engineers.

Bird Bone Structure At Heart Of ESA’s 3D Lunar Camp | UrtheCast | AJ Plunkett Ah, the mystery of birds. First, they inspire man to fly. A hollow, closed-cell structure not unlike that found in the bones of birds has proven to be just the combination of strength and weight necessary to build a habitat out of lunar soil. Of course, a lack of significant amounts of lunar soil on Earth means this is mainly theory for the moment, but the experiments done so far have given us a pretty good indication that it might just work. “3D printing offers a potential means of facilitating lunar settlement with reduced logistics from Earth,” states Scott Hovland of ESA’s human spaceflight team, in an ESA statement. Clean Space Tech The ESA has been investigating using 3D printing technology, also known as additive layer manufacturing, as part of its Clean Space initiative to find innovative technologies to reduce the environmental impacts of the space industry. Bird Bone Concept What About Lunar Building Material? Building In A Vacuum

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Do You Know What You Are Supporting? (Health Impact) The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for the ALS Association is sweeping the nation, and going viral in social media. However, do you know what you are supporting if you contribute funds to the ALS Association? The ALS Association describes their “mission”: Established in 1985, The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.As the preeminent ALS organization, The Association leads the way in research, care services, public education, and public policy — giving help and hope to those facing the disease. Jane H. So what about the rest of the revenue? Yes!

Mediated Matter Neri Oxman and Steven Keating Functionally graded materials–materials with spatially varying composition or microstructure–are omnipresent in nature. From palm trees with radial density gradients, to the spongy trabeculae structure of bone, to the hardness gradient found in many types of beaks, graded materials offer material and structural efficiency. But in man-made structures such as concrete pillars, materials are typically volumetrically homogenous. While using homogenous materials allows for ease of production, improvements in strength, weight, and material usage can be obtained by designing with functionally graded materials. To achieve graded material objects, we are working to construct a 3D printer capable of dynamic mixing of composition material.

… proving how technology can live in harmony with nature. | redchalksketch Neri OXMAN By JOHN ORTVED | Photography TOM ALLEN Courtesy Imagine a chair that moves when you move, that adjusts to every muscle in your body, that responds like a living organism . . . a chair kind of like a really excellent lover. Neri Oxman imagined such a chair. Then she built it. Raised in Haifa and Caesarea, Israel, by architect parents, Oxman rebelled (well, by academic standards anyway) by going into medicine, completing med school at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Oxman usually looks to nature for practical design answers. As for her own future, she rejects any possibility of a Neri Oxman line of roof tiles or a collaboration on Andre Balazs’s next hotel. To learn more about Neri Oxman’s work, visit her Web site and blog. Like this: Like Loading...

Conflicts Forum’s Weekly Comment, 1-7 August : Conflicts Forum The Ancient philosophers perceived killing – and its opposite pole of living peacefully – as curiously closely related – they rested, these seemingly opposite poles, on a knife edge, with each able, in an instant to tip towards the other. Or, in other words, that each (the killing and the enlivening mechanism) somehow is constituted by the other, and is inherent in each other. When human energies became distorted, they held, a vicious circle emerges: with heightened temperament producing volatility, volatility producing arbitrary and fluctuating intentions, frustrated intentions producing feelings, and inflamed feelings demanding the impulse to act (perhaps to kill). The key is in ‘the reversal’: the shift from the nihilistic to the enlivening. And ISIS threatens Saudi Arabia too: “The kingdom is calling in favours from Egypt and Pakistan. What do all these disparate Middle East conflicts have in common? The conflict in Ukraine resonates strongly across the Middle East.

Super Bones Leg bone-Eiffel Tower An international exhibition took place in Paris in 1889, the early counterpart of today’s World’s Fairs. During the planning stage there was competition between architects for new structures to commemorate the grand event. The Eiffel Tower has been a Paris landmark for over a century. 1. 2. Press, 1961). Structuring Biomimicry, Improving Building’s Resiliency The same way Einstein assumes the speed of light to be a constant of reference for his Theory of Relativity, the philosophy of biomimicry assumes Nature as a constant of reference to a performance-based beauty for design. Imitating nature has become a meaningful approach for contemporary architects and design futurists to the built environment, especially for those who foster a future that doesn’t compete with nature but coexist with it. At the light of recent natural disasters around the world, especially those geologically associated such as tsunamis and earthquakes, which have proven its destruction power over the current built environment; architects and structural engineers have found in biomimicry an ecological approach in order to improve future building’s disaster resilience. Present built structures are unresponsive to the Earth dynamics and aren’t completely adapted to the ecosystem flows of forces. Written by Wilfredo Mendez, M.Arch, AIT for References:

Basic human needs - what are they really? | New Economics Foundation July 18, 2014 // By: Anna Coote Social justice and environmental sustainability are twin goals of NEF’s work on a new social settlement, which explores the future of Britain’s welfare system in the face of rising inequality, accelerating climate change and a dysfunctional economy. Drawing inspiration from the Brundtland Report on sustainable development, we are aiming for a settlement that can meet ‘the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ But what do we mean by ‘needs’? The essential premise is that every individual, everywhere in the world, at all times present and future, has certain basic needs. Gough defines basic needs as health, autonomy of agency and critical autonomy. How these needs are met, on the other hand, will vary – often widely - according to the social, environmental, economic, political and cultural circumstances in which people live. The theory of need in outline Issues Like this?