Biomimicry in design

When designers, architects and engineers look to nature to solve problems, beautiful and effective solutions can be found.

Spider silk, stronger than steel
Spider silk, stronger than steel

Designs by Mother Nature is a new exhibition designed by Fat Architecture which shows how products, buildings, and objects take their inspiration from nature through biomimicry.

Above all it seems like there are lots of stories to be found here, like Velcro, an idea which stuck to George de Mestral when his dog’s hair started picking up burdock thistles, which have a natural hook system.

Flower basket sponge

Beauty and strength, a recurring theme in nature, are both found in the Venus Flower Basket Sponge which was also the inspiration for Norman Foster’s Gherkin, while this high speed AVE S-102 train took its aerodynamic nose from the beak shape of a mallard duck.

The mallard-shaped AVE S-102 train
The mallard-shaped AVE S-102 train

Meanwhile radar developers have studied the natural echolation of bats to create new systems.

Fat has embedded the exhibition’s theme within the design of the Roca London Gallery space by using the mathematical Fibonnaci sequence as a framework. It’s often found to be a basis for biological forms.

The gallery says, ‘The formation unifies the exhibition categories with a dynamic and striking spatial experience through which visitors move.’

A nonporous Lotus leaf
A nonporous Lotus leaf

The exhibition has been curated by Barcelona-based design and architecture studio Estudi Ramon Folch (ERF) which specialises in sustainability, alongside materials expert Chris Lefteri.

Design by Mother Nature – Biomimetic Products, runs from 27 February – 24 May 2014 at the Roca London Gallery, Station Court, Townmead Road, SW6 2PY

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