Friday, 26 February 2010


As designers we are constantly having to come up with design solutions, but sometimes these solutions have already been invented!

By looking more at the natural world we are surrounded by the design solutions. Consciously embedding these elements into design, we can create exciting new concepts by using old methods. Studying the way nature interacts with one another, scientists are now trying to encourage designers to take on board the results to help them solve problems sustainably.

Woodpecker hammer

Hitting a tree trunk with 25 pecks per second, the woodpecker is able to apply such pressure causing an outstanding level of impact. Using the woodpecker as inspiration, designers created a 'new' design that enabled the user to gain maximum power from the hammer and distribute the force from each blow.

Lotus: self - cleaning properties

With the ability to repel dirt, many companies are trying to create materials with similar properties to the Lotus leaf. Using only rain to clean, the microscopic bumps are mimicked in products such as paint, glass, etc reducing the need for detergents and labour.

'Shark Skin' Suit

Michael Phelps swimsuit was such a brilliant way of advertising Biomimicry. Presenting it on a highly publicised platform such as the Olympics allowed more people to gain an insight into the ideas surrounding the topic. Drawing inspiration from shark skin, designers were able to create a swimsuit that would allow the best conditions to swim faster - something essential to Phelp's profession. Scientists found small teeth located on shark skin, facing different positions along the body, to allow the most efficient path of water thus resulting in faster movement.

Biomimicry is now being incorporated into the structures of buildings, creating a more sustainable method than man made concepts that are sometimes not as successful.

Honeycomb housing

Theories and constructural laws are being used instead of drawing inspiration from specific species, allowing these natural laws that exist amongst some of the most interconnecting ecosystems to question the way things look and work.

Examples of Biomorphic Architecture

With thanks:

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