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Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture
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Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City by Melissa Sterry, RIBA-USA Annual Lecture

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The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)-USA had its annual lecture on June 26th 2014 at the Doubletree Hotel Chicago. This year’s Keynote Speaker was Design Scientist and Futurist Melissa …

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)-USA had its annual lecture on June 26th 2014 at the Doubletree Hotel Chicago. This year’s Keynote Speaker was Design Scientist and Futurist Melissa Sterry. Her talk titled 'Learning from Life: The Biologically Informed City' discussed several facets of the relationship between nature and cities.

Abstract: How can biology potentially inform and inspire the cities of the now, near and far future? What insights into tackling urban challenges including resource shortages, pollution, waste, inequality and extreme weather might we gain from mimicking the physiology and behaviour of flora and fauna species? What are the very latest developments in Biomimetics, Biotechnology and Biomorphic Design, and where might these take architecture and related disciplines? How might cities play a critical role in biodiversity conservation in the coming century and beyond? Sterry will present answers to these questions and more, as she discusses both her own research and development projects, and those of her peers in bio-informed design and technology worldwide.

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  • 1. Learning from Life The Biologically Informed City RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 @bioniccity © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved
  • 2. @bioniccity © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Definitions Image: M. Sterry
  • 3. What is Life? © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved “Living things tend to be complex and highly organised. They have the ability to take in energy from the environment and transform it for growth and reproduction. Organisms tend toward homeostasis: an equilibrium of parameters that define their internal environment. Living creatures respond, and their stimulation fosters a reaction-like motion, recoil, and in advanced forms, learning. Life is reproductive, as some kind of copying is needed for evolution to take hold through a population's mutation and natural selection.” ! NASA RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 @bioniccity
  • 4. Mimics ! ! “The mimesis of other life-forms and the behaviours of those forms, both floral and faunal, has played an integral role in human development - socially, culturally and technologically.” ! Melissa Sterry, Biomimetics: Learning from Life, Global Science Innovation Handbook (2013) © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 @bioniccity
  • 5. @bioniccity © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Mutually supportive, distinctly different disciplines ! ! BIOmimetics! ! ! BIOtechnology! ! BIOmorphism
  • 6. © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved Biomimetics ! ! “study embracing the practical use of mechanisms and functions of biological science in engineering, design, chemistry, electronics, and so on.” Julian F. V. Vincent et al, Biomimetics: its practice and theory, Journal of the Royal Society, Interface (2006) RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 @bioniccity
  • 7. @bioniccity © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Biotechnology ! ! ! Biotechnology consists of a broad set of technologies and a plausible definition has been developed by the OECD, for statistical analyses which consists of two parts: ! 1. single definition providing a general description of what biotechnology is about: "The application of science and technology to living organisms, as well as parts, products and models thereof, to alter living or non-living materials for the production of knowledge, goods and services." ! 2. A (indicative, not exhaustive) list of biotechnologies as an interpretative guideline to the single definition: DNA/RNA, Proteins and other molecules, Cell and tissue culture and engineering, Process biotechnology techniques, Gene and RNA vectors, Bioinformatics, Nanobiotechnology ! European Commission, Enterprise & Industry, ec.europa.eu (2013)
  • 8. @bioniccity © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Biomorphic ! Forms or images that while abstract nevertheless refer to, or evoke, living forms such as plants and the human body. ! Biomorphic comes from combining the Greek words ‘bios’, meaning life, and ‘morphe’, meaning form. ! The term seems to have come into use around the 1930s to describe the imagery in the more abstract types of surrealist painting and sculpture particularly in the work of Joan Miró and Jean Arp. Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth also produced some superb biomorphs at that time, and later so did Louise Bourgeois. ! Tate, Online Resource Library (2014)
  • 9. @bioniccity © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Animal Architecture ! ! “Animals, who exhibit life in highly concentrated and diverse forms, have the power to completely alter our way of thinking about ourselves, both the form of ourselves and the forms we make, live in and respond to.” ! Catherine Ingraham, Architecture, Animal, Human: The Asymmetrical Condition (2005)!
  • 10. @bioniccity © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Prototypes Image: M. Sterry
  • 11. @bioniccity RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Nature’s Architects Structures built by fauna species for purposes including reproduction, hunting and shelter.
  • 12. @bioniccity RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Biological Prototypes The physiology & behaviour of flora and fauna species and the relationships between them. !
  • 13. @bioniccity RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Bio Materiality Innovations informed by biological mechanisms, including the materiality of flora & fauna species. Images: Close-up of 3D printed chaise longue Neri Oxman; Cellular Form-Finding by MATSYS; Fibonacci’s Mashrabiya by Neri Oxman; Animated Apertures by B+U; Cartesian Wax by Neri Oxman; Prosolve 370e by Elegant Embellishments; Monocoque 2 by Neri Oxman.
  • 14. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Bio Relationships Biological organisms adapted for human use, including the generation of energy and light. Images: Bacterioptica chandelier by MADLAB; Algae-powered building by Splitterwerk Architects and ARUP; Guadalquivir Experiment by ecoLogicStudio; Algae-filled wall by Cesare Griffa; Dino Pet by Yonder Biology; Glowing Planet; Bio-Light by Philips; Bioluminescent algae experiments by Leapfrog Project. @bioniccity
  • 15. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Bio Practice Design and production methods and processes that mimic biological processes. Images: Crystal furniture grown by Tokujin Yoshioka; Suspended Depositions by Brian Harms; Fractal Forms by Daniel Widrig; 3D printed building by Enrico Dini; Chairgenics by FormNation; 3D printing by Freedom of Creation; Honeycomb Morphologies by AA Emergent Technologies and Design ( Hensel, Menges, Weinstock); (HygroScope by Achim Menges. @bioniccity
  • 16. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Bio Behaviours Design solutions that mimic the behaviour of flora and fauna species. Images: Flat Panel Quadrilateral Tessellations by Skylar Tibbets and MIT Self-Assembly Lab; Hylozoic Ground by Philip Beesley feat. living architecture by Dr. Rachel Armstrong; HYDRAMAX Port Machines by Future Cities Lab; Self-assembling robotic cube by MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL); Responsive architecture by Tristan d’Estrée Sterk; Brasilia Stadium by Weston Williamson & Partners. @bioniccity
  • 17. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Bio Futures Biomimetics, Biotechnology & Biomorphism in the now, near & far future Images: Guadalquivir Experiment by ecoLogicStudio; Capacitor kinetic sculpture by John Grade; Silk Pavilion by Mediated Matter group at MIT Media Lab; Protocell living architecture by Dr. Rachel Armstrong at AVATAR; ‘ProtoHouse 1.0’ 3D printed house by Softkill Design; Silk Pavilion MIT Media Lab; Living screen system by ecoLogicStudio; by HYDRAMAX Port Machines by Future Cities Lab. @bioniccity
  • 18. Evolving Insights © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved “The are some four million different kinds of animals and plants in the world. Four million different solutions to the problems of staying alive.” ! Sir David Attenborough, Life on Earth (1979) RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 @bioniccity
  • 19. @bioniccity © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Observations Image: M. Sterry
  • 20. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Nature of Progress © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved @bioniccity Images: Old City in Ahmedabad, India, February 2014 by M. Sterry
  • 21. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved @bioniccity Images: Animals in Ahmedabad, India, February 2014 by M. Sterry Urban Biodiversity
  • 22. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved Bio-inclusive Beliefs Images: Ahmedabad, India, February 2014 by M. Sterry @bioniccity
  • 23. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved Images: Tree of Life mural by Kavita Singh Kale, Seen Unseen Project by K. Singh Kale and M. Sterry, Ahmedabad, India, February 2014 @bioniccity
  • 24. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved Biological Social Networks @bioniccity Images: Collage featuring Tree of Life mural by Kavita Singh Kale, Seen Unseen Project by K. Singh Kale and M. Sterry, Ahmedabad, India, February 2014, deli.icio.us Network Explorer diagram on Creative Commons license, Microscope image by M. Sterry, and Fungal mycelium on Creative Commons License.
  • 25. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved Spatial Inclusivity Images: Oslo Opera House, Norway, September 2013 by M. Sterry @bioniccity
  • 26. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved A helping hand Images: Hoglet, aged approx. 4 weeks, Cotwolds, July 2013 by M. Sterry @bioniccity
  • 27. @bioniccity © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Hypotheses Image: M. Sterry
  • 28. Image: Johannes Hansen, Creative Commons License “The future is not the exponential expansion of the present. The future is one of many varied scenarios, some of which are known, others not.” RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 @bioniccity
  • 29. @bioniccity © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Chaos Theory ! ! “Sensitivity to initial conditions means that each point in a chaotic system is arbitrarily closely approximated by other points with significantly different future paths, or trajectories. Thus, an arbitrarily small change, or perturbation, of the current trajectory may lead to significantly different future behaviour.” ! Chaos Theory [extract], Sensitivity to initial conditions, Wikipedia
  • 30. © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved “The Circle of Variability” (2013)“The Circle of Variability” (2013) RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 @bioniccityDiagram: M. Sterry
  • 31. Images: Strange Attractor by Johannes Hansen under Creative Commons License. Mount St. Helens in 1978 and the May 1980 eruption by US Geological Survey. Alpine Lupins by Johnston Ridge Observatory under Creative Commons License. Mount Saint Helens in summer 2003 by Eborutta, Wikimedia Commons. @bioniccity RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014
  • 32. Panarchy © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved “the structure in which systems of nature (e.g. forests, grasslands, lakes, rivers, and seas), of humans (e.g. systems of governance, tribes, and cultures), as well as combined human-nature systems (e.g. agencies that control natural resource use), are interlinked in never- ending adaptive cycles of growth, accumulation, restructuring, and renewal.” ! C.S Holling, Theories for Sustainable Futures, Conservation Ecology (2000)! RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 @bioniccity
  • 33. Images: Strange Attractor by Johannes Hansen under Creative Commons License. Mount St. Helens in 1978 and the May 1980 eruption by US Geological Survey. Alpine Lupins by Johnston Ridge Observatory under Creative Commons License. Mount Saint Helens in summer 2003 by Eborutta, Wikimedia Commons. @bioniccity RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014
  • 34. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 Images: Collage comprised Analemma diagram from Wikipedia Commons, Analemma sketch by W. Burner under Creative Commons license, Panarchy diagram by M. Sterry and Strange Attractor Johannes Hansen under Creative Commons License. @bioniccity
  • 35. Image: Strange Attractor Johannes Hansen, Creative Commons License. Typhoon Haiyan by Karen Nyberg, NASA. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014
  • 36. © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 @bioniccity “The Circle of Variability” (2013)“The Circle of Variability” (2013) Diagram: M. Sterry
  • 37. Image: Typhoon Haiyan, NASA, NOAA. Tacloban post Haiyan, Trocaire, Wikimedia Commons. Strange Attractor Johannes Hansen, Creative Commons License. Living Installation sketches and photography by Leapfrog Project. Circle of Variability by Melissa Sterry. Living Architecture by Rachel Armstrong & Philip Beesley. Biocomputing by ecoLogic Studio. Leapfrog Project RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014
  • 38. RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 The Leapfrog Project, initiated by ALLL, includes a lateral leadership of local Filipino professionals from the WorkLand M&E Institute, Inc., University of the Philippines, National Housing Authority, United Architects of the Philippines, Social Project.PH, Philippine government agencies, and international professionals from Bionic City, The Caritas Project, OREM Foundation, and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) including graduates from Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin. Enrique Otarola! OREM Foundation ! Executive Director Lira Luis, AIA, RIBA, NCARB, CeM, LEED AP BD+C! ALLL, Chief Collaboration Architect Romeo Santos, PhD! WorkLand M&E Institute Executive Director Dr. Wayne Ruga, FAIA, FIIDA, Hon. FASID! The CARITAS Project, Founder and President Mitchell Obstfeld! Founding Member at Asia Pacific Federation of Architects/Interior Ludwig Ritchel Kalambacal! Archikonst, Editor in Chief Justin Garrido! Social Project.PH Co-founder Eiko Hamada! Graphic Designer Melissa Sterry! Bionic City® Founder! Design Scientist, Futurist Rey Gabitan! UAP Emergency Architects Group Image: Strange Attractor Johannes Hansen, Creative Commons License. #leapfrogproject
  • 39. @bioniccity RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved References Image: M. Sterry
  • 40. © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved Search ‘Bionic City’ in Flipboard or browser to find RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 @bioniccity
  • 41. © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved Search ‘Bios magazine’ in Flipboard or browser to find RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014 @bioniccity
  • 42. © Melissa Sterry 2014 All Rights Reserved Thank you! melissasterry.com ! @melissasterry ! RIBA-USA Annual Lecture, Chicago, June 26th 2014

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