What is Biomimicry?
Biomimicry in architecture and interior design is an approach that draws inspiration from nature's designs, processes, and systems to create innovative and sustainable solutions. It involves studying and emulating biological principles, forms, and functions in order to design buildings that are more efficient, resilient, and harmonious with their environment.
Architects and designers who practice biomimicry observe and analyse various aspects of nature, such as the way organisms adapt to their surroundings, the structures of plants and animals, and the efficient use of resources in ecosystems.
Studio Moren Biomimicry Champions
The Biomimicry Champion Group at Studio Moren consists of Elvira Salyahetdinova, Julian Fok and previously Gareth Cotter and Devis Tako.
Elvira is an architect driven by a passion for sustainable and regenerative design and wrote her dissertation on biomimicry. Shortly after her internal presentation on the topic, the biomimicry champion group was formed.
Julian is a Part 1 architectural assistant who has a strong interest in studying local climate and the flora and fauna. He is also particularly eager to explore new technologies, especially in the field of photogrammetry, parametric modelling and AI tools.
Julian promotes new software and site surveying techniques within the studio.
The biomimicry champions are growing their knowledge by attending various events and lectures on regenerative design and materials. The group conducts continuous research through topic-related publications and articles and spreads this knowledge by internal presentations and sharing with work experience students. They also put their knowledge into practice by entering an international competition “Yoga House in the Bog” involving the design of an environmentally responsible yoga house in Latvia.
The competition site is defined by muddy bogs surrounded by a river and forest. A small cabin on the site is the only architecture which is being hosted by the natural habitat. As part of their research, they visited the site and appreciated its abundance, this formed the aspiration of the proposal to both preserve and mimic the beautiful nature and simultaneously translate the site’s poetic character.
The design has been inspired by the organic forms of pinecones and mushrooms found on the site. The structure is inspired by the mushroom figure and allowed the proposal “to touch the Earth lightly”, the Fibonacci sequence of the pinecones inspired the roof shape, which brings natural light, provides shading, and collects rainwater and renewable energy.
The proposal is a device which effectively interlocks timber structures, functions and various natural inspirations. It is a place which enhances inner serenity for Yoga by providing a direct connection to outer Latvian tranquillity.
The champions researched new equipment and software, and successfully used them during this competition project. These techniques have been tested and shared within the studio for potential future use on other projects. Some of these include; using photogrammetry in early stages to test the initial design to develop a sense of how the building looks in relation to the surrounding area. Drone functions to measure approximate dimensions and survey unreachable areas of the site. Parametric design software such as Rhino with Grasshopper to model nature inspired geometries. Finally, an AI design tool to explore alternative designs from initial sketches.
One of the aims of the group is to encourage nature-inspired research and innovations and to explore regenerative design solutions. As a result, the champions will further research new technology and software and experiment with AI.
Another aim of the group is to acquaint students early in their career path so that they can have the knowledge and implement sustainability later on in their professions.
Finally, the biomimicry champions group will continue presenting the topic both to colleagues and external visitors of Studio Moren.