There are times within an architectural design project when digital nature can accomplish goals that actual physical nature cannot. You see, digital nature can be used in three unique ways to enhance an environment that serves to empower the occupant that inhabits its space. The following are three techniques for you to “pull” from physical nature, to create digital nature that presents the “real-thing” in entirely new and innovative ways.
Paradoxically, as both technology and biophilia are increasingly integrated into everyday spaces, environments will become more personalized, and more nurturing. In other words, technology will help environments to “tune”, while biophilia in design will help environments to “nurture”.
Architecture with nature can become a bridge that links occupants to their dynamic surroundings. And with the emergence of architectural interactivity, new and innovative architectural experiences that present nature in new ways can be born.
When considering whether it is possible to design for protection from and connection with nature simultaneously, one needs to see nature, in all its patterns, as an educational tool from which architecture can learn.
Nature in design is not only about protection, inspiration, and harmonization – it is also about composition. As you design, be sure to explore how nature can be re-interpreted through architectural materials.
Different architects use nature within their designs in different ways. While some gain inspiration from nature to influence a built form, others use nature to fuel the mechanisms within their design solution. Yet still, nature can be used to inform a design in real-time — as architecture gains greater fluidity through interactivity.
What are other ways that you can learn from nature to really push the way you think about what your occupants do within your buildings? And how can you use nature to find new ways to promote issues like learning and productivity within an office building and its office layout design?
How do you begin to model systems and processes that nature teaches? How do you translate your discoveries and breakthroughs to help in your design process, making you a better designer?
When cutting-edge paradigm-shifts occur, like new perspectives on nature that make methods like Biomimicry and BioDigital Architecture possible, I still wonder how these, combined with other factors like culture, globalization, personal preferences, lifestyle trends and geographic land characteristics will impact what we, as architectural visionaries, paint for the future.
As the relation between biomimicry, nanotechnology and new computing software evolves, a key design strategy surfaces — and a key aspect to that design strategy is BioDigital Architecture.
Light, water, temperature, air quality and renewable resources typically come to mind when talking about sustainable design, and to see these innovative green building issues tackled in one building project is wonderful.
The need to build green skins that are able to harness energy gives architects incentive to find new ways to use and guide emerging technologies. Essentially, it is necessity coupled with ingenuity that can often spark the best design innovation.
Here are some of Richard Whitehall's ideas that I think make his designs successful — really promoting green human behavior
This solar and wind project is unique because it takes technology beyond just being “tacked on” to a building. These micro solar panels mimic nature’s ivy, really bringing life to the otherwise redundant ways we typically see energy being stored.
By taking a look around, designers can find inspiration everywhere – particularly in nature. Nature provides us with an amazing array of solutions for many complex problems that we face today – the quest to learn from nature in this way is “biomimicry”, and architecture can benefit from this kind of approach.
Healing environments often integrate nature to help de-stress patients. Nature can be a beautiful distraction or have physiological benefits. Either way, nature is important because it has been proven to reduce pain and subsequent stress.
Even as you formulate the initial schematics for your architectural concept design, it is wise to comprehensively research not only what your occupant thinks they need now, but also how they would like to grow: physiologically, intellectually, emotionally, behaviorally, and even spiritually. This will help you to grasp how the environmental design’s behavioral language needs to adapt.
Is all of life a game-like journey? Or is the journey more of an experiential process with no real end-goal? Whatever life seems to be at a given moment, it is interesting to consider what physical environments would be like if they were designed with a gaming mentality.
I invite you as an architectural designer to unlock the power of 3D to 4D visualization. Going from 3D visualizations to interactive 4D immersive VR experiences of your design projects (with sound) will convey your concept ideas better by making your multi-sensory design interventions come to life in more tangible ways.