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  • The architect and critic Michael Sorkin is interested in animal forms because they challenge architectural conventions. Whereas buildings are often symmetrical and almost always static, a moving animal is neither of these things. Projects such as the Beached Houses shown here explore this apparently fundamental difference. The three houses, called Ray, Carp and Slug, have a similar arrangement of rooms on two floors. They are based on animals that are 'symmetrical but only until they wiggle'. 'Our effort is to measure the space between the fish and the wiggle', says Sorkin, 'This is the study of a lifetime.'
  • The architect and critic Michael Sorkin is interested in animal forms because they challenge architectural conventions. Whereas buildings are often symmetrical and almost always static, a moving animal is neither of these things. Projects such as the Beached Houses shown here explore this apparently fundamental difference. The three houses, called Ray, Carp and Slug, have a similar arrangement of rooms on two floors. They are based on animals that are 'symmetrical but only until they wiggle'. 'Our effort is to measure the space between the fish and the wiggle', says Sorkin, 'This is the study of a lifetime.'
  • Like the neighbouring stadium, Montreal’s Olympic Velodrome was designed by Mayor Jean Drapeau’s hand-picked muse, French architect Roger Taillibert. Its construction cost was similarly over-budget: in this case $CAN70 million, $CAN58 million more than projected, as a result of labour unrest and the difficulty of fabricating and assembling the large number of unique pre-cast concrete segments required. Architect John Hix described the resulting building as “some giant Paleozoic tribolite come to rest at the bottom of the sea.” Its dramatically lit interior space hosted the track cycling and judo events at the 1976 Summer Games. Much to the frustration of cycling fans, who lost what was arguably the finest indoor velodrome in the world, since 1992 the building has housed the Montreal Biodome. This popular tourist attraction re-creates five North American ecosystems indoors.
  • Zoom

    1. 1. Learning objectives:• Understand the principles of Zoomorphism and Biomimetics.• Be prepared to take risks when generating ideas through a range of creative and critical thinking techniques.• Produce creative solutions which address the design criteria in expected and/or unexpected ways.
    2. 2. • “By carrying out research on the opening and closing of pine cones and the insulation layers of penguins, we have worked on the principles of design of a fabric which can be used to make responsive clothing, with transpirational properties based on the state of activity of the wearer. This is of particular interest in the defence industry, meaning that the minimum of layers of clothing need be worn at all times, particularly in areas of the world with widely fluctuating temperatures: a soldier in the deserts around the Gulf will otherwise need few layers by day in the baking heat, but lots of layers by night in the chill of the sand.” Centre for Biomimetics School of Construction Management and Engineering Engineering Building The University of Reading
    3. 3. “The flight system of dragonflies is nothing lessthan a wonder of design. The worlds leadinghelicopter manufacturer, Sikorsky, finished thedesign of one of their helicopters by taking thedragonfly as a model.6 IBM, which assistedSikorsky in this project, started by putting a modelof a dragonfly in a computer (IBM 3081). Twothousand special renderings were done oncomputer in the light of the manoeuvres of thedragonfly in air. Therefore, Sikorskys model fortransporting personnel and artillery was built uponexamples derived from nature”
    4. 4. Santiago CalatravaMilwaukee Art Museum
    5. 5. Milwaukee Art MuseumSantiago Calatrava
    6. 6. • Understanding biological design by borrowing from nature is key to producing sustainable products and developing a sustainable world. Innovative designs present in nature can be leveraged to produce unique, new products that are economically successful, as well as compatible with the environment.• “The core idea is that nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most important, what lasts here on Earth. This is the real news of bio mimicry: After 3.8 billion years of research and development, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival.” Janine Benyus, author Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature

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