Despite the ever-growing sophistication of synthetic and digital tools, it’s the natural world that captures the imaginations of today’s vanguard designers. By looking to nature as a teacher rather than simply as a source for raw materials, pioneers in the emerging biomimicry movement are developing design methods and materials to create intelligent buildings that emulate life itself. In Hypernatural architecture and material experts Blaine Brownell and Marc Swackhamer present an international collection of forty-two case studies that illustrate astonishing new applications possible in this rapidly growing field, from Echoviren, a botanical pavilion that was designed to wilt into its surrounding redwood forest in Northern California, to the MIT Media Lab’s Silk Pavilion, constructed by the threads of silkworms as they passed over scaffolding. Together, these projects show that by looking to nature, design can be a tool that makes our built environment more efficient, sustainable, and, most of all, livable.
The Wall Street Journal
“Where will future architects find inspiration? In their new book Hypernatural, authors Blaine Brownell and Marc Swackhamer of University of Minnesota describe how designers and architects have started to copy nature…”
The Plain Dealer
“Some examples are more illustrative and just hint at future possibilities. But others are places where humans around the world live, work and play.”
The Boston Globe
“When we think of achievements in architecture, we think of buildings that defy nature — towers of glass, steel, and concrete rising to the sky. At the cutting edge of architectural design there’s another trend, though, that’s less about overpowering nature and more about utilizing it for our own purposes.”
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