Architecture Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-8-2010

Document Type



Future Bionic is a study into how biological processes can be reinterpreted and applied to revolutionize the idea of performance in buildings. The term bionic refers to the combining of a natural system and a mechanical system or technology [bionics]. Biomimicry refers to the copying or imitation of a natural systems processes [biomimicry]. Future Bionic is a hybrid of both concepts, in which I am looking at how principles of bionics and biomimicry can be used to design a built environment that begins to blur the edges between the natural and man-made world. Both bionics and biomimicry can be used to create buildings that take ideas from nature, incorporate nature, and work with the natural environment. By using principles of both, Future Bionic becomes greater than each concept individually. It is the idea that the man-made environment can work as an integral part of the natural cycle.

This project is something that is important because of many of the escalating issues in the world. Some of these issues include water shortage, climate change, fossil fuel shortages, pollution, and traffic gridlock. Architects do not have the answers to all of these issues; however we do have the ability to directly affect some of them with our designs. The issues at hand are larger than the reach of the architect, but we are a small piece of a much larger puzzle. We cannot change human behavior, but we can design a built environment that influences it. By providing a built environment that allows people to live and function more efficiently, we can begin to plant the seeds of change that can then grow into a new and sustainable man-made environment.

The aim of this project is to find ways in which humans can live more in balance with nature. The goal is a seamless integration between the natural environment and the manmade environment at a large scale. To do this I am looking at current examples of biomimicry to see how architects and engineers are currently using precedents for design from nature. By studying current examples of biomimicry, I can then look towards the future, and study what forms or biomimicry could be used in years to come and how the field can be advanced. These examples are what I want to incorporate into my design, to try to push the field of bionic research. Currently the LEED system has become the standard when it comes to sustainable design. However, the system has only begun to scratch the surface of sustainability and its requirements. LEED is based on a point system and requires that architects merely meet some of its guidelines to receive a certain number of points. The system helps to design buildings that are better than most current buildings, but it is still not asking enough of us. Most of these buildings still damage the environment, they simply damage it less than an ordinary building does. The goal of Future Bionic is to design a built environment that actually improves the natural environment around it. Buildings need to begin to function like a living thing by removing CO2 out of the air and putting O2 back into it. How can a building begin to actually improve the earth? This is the question I pose with Future Bionic.

Included in

Architecture Commons