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Amira-Czeekha M.

Henil
BS Architecture 3B

Mimicry Architecture
1. What is Mimicry architecture?
In the search of sustainable building design and technology Biomimicry is an
alternative solution. The inspiration from nature is driving force in architecture,
resulting in majestic works of architecture. Biomimicry is about solution refined and
developed by nature. For any sustainable building design, need to consider structural
efficiency, water efficiency, zero-waste systems, thermal environment, and energy
supply. Biomimicry is about solutions. Biological organisms refined and developed by
natural selection over a billion year research and development period can be seen as
embodying technologies, functions, and systems that are solutions to the problem of
surviving in nature. These problems are often equivalent to those encountered by
humans as we seek new ways to design and live sustainably, and in many cases have
solved the same problems with a far greater economy of means. This paper aims at
revealing how radical increase in resource efficiency can be achieved by looking to
the nature for inspiration. Exploring the application of Biomimicry in current
architectural design, resulting in a set of design approaches, levels and principles. The
paper also discuss about the architects work inspired by nature.
Biomimicry uses an ecological standard to judge the sustainability of our innovations.
After many years of evolution, nature has learned what works and what lasts.
Biomimicry is a new way of viewing and valuing nature. It introduces an era based
not on what we can extract from the natural world, but what we can learn from it.
Biomimicry design is not only adapting the design from the nature but also
considering how to use natures effective functions such as heating and cooling
system, protecting natural light and ventilation.
There are three levels of Mimicry:

In addition to these two approaches demonstrated previously, there are three levels of
biomimicry have to be applied also to design problems. From the biomimetic
technologies and techniques, it is obvious and well noticed that there are three levels
of mimicry: the organism level, behavior level and ecosystem level. The organism
level illustrates the mimicking of certain organism or the mimicry of a part from the
whole organism. The second level is the mimicry of behavior of which every
organism behaves. The third level is the mimicking of the whole ecosystem and this
level is considered the hardest level as it focuses on a functionally very hard issue to
mimic.

Organism Level
Species of living organisms have typically been evolving for millions of years. Those
organisms that remain on Earth now have the survival mechanisms that have
withstood and adapted to constant changes over time. Mimicking an organism alone
however without also mimicking how it is able to participate in and contribute to the
larger context of the ecosystem it is in, has the potential to produce designs that
remain conventional or even below average in terms of environmental impact.
Because mimicking of organisms tends to be of a specific feature, rather than a whole
system, the potential also remains that biomimicry becomes technology that is added
onto buildings rather than being integral to them, particularly if designers have little
biological knowledge and no not collaborate with biologists or ecologists during the
early design stages. While this method may result in new and innovative building
technologies or materials, methods to increase sustainability are not necessarily
explored.

Behaviour Level
A great number of organisms encounter the same environmental conditions that
humans do and need to solve similar issues that humans face. As discussed, these
organisms tend to operate within environmental carrying capacity of a specific place
and within limits of energy and material availability. These limits as well as pressures
that create ecological niche adaptations in ecosystems mean not only well-adapted
organisms continue to evolve, but also well-adapted organism behaviors and
relationship patterns between organisms or species. Behaviour level mimicry requires
ethical decisions to be made about the suitability of what is being mimicked for the
human context. Not all organisms exhibit behaviours that are suitable for humans to
mimic and the danger exists that models of consumption or exploitation could be
justified on the basis of how another species behaves. For example, mimicking the
building behaviour (and outcome of that) of termites might be appropriate for the
creation of passively regulated thermally comfortable buildings. Mimicking the social
structure of termite colonies would not be suitable however if universal human rights
are valued. It may be more appropriate to mimic specific building and survival
behaviours that will increase the sustainability and regenerative capacity of human
built environments rather than mimicking that could be applied to social or economic

spheres without careful consideration. It may be more appropriate to mimic whole


systems rather than single organisms in this regard.

Ecosystem Level
The mimicking of ecosystems is an integral part of biomimicry as described by
Benyus (1997) and Vincent (2007). The term ecomimicry has also been used to
describe the mimicking of ecosystems in design, while Marshall uses the term to
mean a sustainable form of biomimicry where the objective is the wellbeing of
ecosystems and people, rather than power, prestige or profit. Proponents of
industrial, construction and building ecology advocate mimicking of ecosystems and
the importance of architectural design based on an SB07 New Zealand Paper number:
033 understanding of ecology is also discussed by researchers advocating a shift to
regenerative design. An advantage of designing at this level of biomimicry is that it
can be used in conjunction with other levels of biomimicry (organism and behaviour).
It is also possible to incorporate existing established sustainable building methods that
are not specifically biomimetic such as interfaced or bio-assisted systems, where
human and non-human systems are merged to the mutual benefit of both.

2. How do you apply this theory in your design?


Many mathematicians were fascinated and mesmerized by the spectacular objects,
creatures and forms found in nature. No doubt that soap films are a sort of these forms
of nature, where they have been studied intensively by mathematicians as to mimic
them and to reveal from them a great geometric forms such as minimal surfaces.
Minimal surfaces are named like that because they are the surfaces that tend to
minimize their total surface area. These surfaces can be conducted by a very simple
way, where to make a physical model of minimal surfaces you have to dip a wire
frame into a soap solution and the result will be a soap film which is also a minimal
surface. Minimal surfaces also can be self intersect and to be periodically repeated
without any constraints and on this occasion they will be called periodic minimal
surfaces.
Designers in the building industry are continually looking for new and innovative
ways to create beautiful, livable spaces that are environmentally responsible and
resilient. Increasingly, those on the leading edge are looking to nature as a source of
inspiration. Here are nine examples of how applying biomimicry in the context of the
built environment can help designers, projects, and communities as they work to
create naturally sustainable, inherently resilient spaces. When nature has a problem,
evolution weeds out what doesnt work and selects the most effective adaptations.
Humans could also address environmental problems by using biomimicry
examining natures solutions and applying them to human designs. Today, biomimicry
could be applied to climate change; to address food, energy and water security; to
cope with resource shortages or biodiversity loss; and in building sustainable cities.
For me, to apply this theory in my design first I have to know what my concept as to
solve the problem for instance in my particular area.i have to consider the practical

issues, I have to know the characteristics, behavior of the people to surround my


future building. I have to bear in mind that mimicking the organisms, behavior, and
ecosystem has a superb effect in my design and to the people. Furthermore, by
applying this theory I have to undergo studies and research as well as the proof to be
able to defend and stand on my design/s.

Examples: