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.
As an environmental designer, it is important to make smart design decisions during your creative process – at all stages. This is where the practice of design fiction can be injected into your process, to help you formulate not just one design solution that you iterate; but a variety of possible solutions that you can compare, test, or explore quickly at the beginning of your concept formulation process.
In history, there have been times when an “unbuildable” concept, only realized on paper, was paradigm shifting – as such concepts served to shift the mindset of the people toward greater innovative possibilities for the future. I still find it fascinating to see these “unbuildable” concept drawings from yesteryear, and then to think about how our current “unbuildable” concepts will impact the future of our present time.
As is typical with the present-time, we are always in the midst of emerging trends. For designers, this means either following the trends or setting new ones by being well ahead of the curve. Environmental design is no different. As advancing technologies like virtual reality lead to augmented realty, or as interactive physical space leads to adaptive physical space, it becomes fascinating (and necessary) to question where these technological developments are heading.