Natures Operating Systems

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Nature is the largest R&D lab for Design. Whatever problem you want to solve, probably the answer is to be found in the natural world.
Both Bioneering and Biomimicry see the natural world as the ultimate operating system.

It is a design challenge to be in perfect symbiosis with natural world, and do no harm.

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Natures Operating Systems

  1. 1. Nature’s
Opera,ng
Systems
 The
Biosphere
is
a
database
full
of
strategies,
processes
and
 pa=erns
that
show
us
how
we
can
organize
 
the
people
world
in
a
be=er
way
 1

  2. 2. #wmyh This
presenta,on
is
wri=en
and
arranged
by
Stefaan
Vandist,
www.trinity‐planning.be.

 It
is
part
of
the
10
Adver,sing
Harvest
collec,on,
and
first
shown
at
the
“what
makes
 you
horny”
seminar
of
Boondoggle
Amsterdam.
(#wmyh
at
twi=er)
 2

  3. 3. I
am
an
amateur
photographer
of
the
natural
world,
its
pa=erns,
processes
and
 strategies
in
which
organisms
are
successful.
What
we
see
here
are
termites
using
a
 pipe
as
a
highway.
Although
termites
are
always
on
the
move,
they
never
crash,
never
 have
traffic
jams,
never
are
trapped
by
obstacles…
 On
top
of
that,
they
reach
out
humans
by
far
when
it
comes
to
biomass.
But
no‐one
 says
there
are
to
many
ants
in
the
world.
They
fer,lize
and
drain
the
soil.
They
are
 extremely
well
interconnected
with
the
natural
world
 3

  4. 4. BRUTAL
FORCE
 However
some
species
might
be
rude
some,mes,
nature’s
opera,ng
systems
are
very
 gentle
to
their
environment.
In
the
people‐world
however,
we
take‐make‐waste
things,
 o^en
in
a
brutal
way!
 4

  5. 5. BRUTAL
FORCE
 The
way
we
take
minerals
from
the
soil
is
o^en
in
‘cubng
away
a
mountaintop‐style’,
 which
is
not
as
gentle
as
the
way
minerals
are
distracted
from
the
soil
in
the
natural
 world.
By
trees
for
example.
 5

  6. 6. BRUTAL
FORCE
 The
way
we
make
things
is
very
energy
consuming
and
has
a
heavy
cost
for
our
 environments.
We
heat‐beat‐and‐treat
things.
We
manufacture
with
high
 temperatures,
high
pressures
and
toxic
treatments
 6

  7. 7. BRUTAL
FORCE
 Even
the
way
we
harvest
food
is
brutal
force.

 We
literally
scrape
all
life
of
the
ocean
floor
when
fishing
 7

  8. 8. BRUTAL
FORCE
 The
way
we
move
our
ass
from
one
point
to
another
is
bad
organized
and
largely
 based
on
brutal
force.
Every
year,
humanity
burns
approximately 100.000 years of ancient plant growth. 
 8

  9. 9. BRUTAL
FORCE
 The
Jurassic
Car
on
this
billboard
promises
me
that
it
is
intelligent,
but
it
is
 definitely
not
even
close
to
the
intelligent
design
of…
a
hummingbird.
 9

  10. 10. LEARN
 A
hummingbird
is
not
larger
then
a
thumb,
flies
30
miles
an
hour,
and
flies
 2000
miles
a
year.

It
can
operate
3
dimensional
and
hardly
makes
noise.
It
 can
fly
over
open
water
for
600
miles
without
a
stop,
on
just
2,1
grams
of
 fuel.
It
fuels
with
nectar,
not
gasoline,
and
the
more
it
fuels,
the
more
it
 guarantees
the
survival
of
flowering
plants,
it
selves,

its
offspring
and
other
 species
that
depend
on
nectar.
 Imagine
the
same
principle
would
count
in
our
way
of
mobility?
 10

  11. 11. LEARN
 Today in Industrial agriculture, there goes a lot of money to pesticides and fertilizers. On top of that, soil needs to be ploughed every year. In high scale monocultures, we need an average of 10 kilocalories of oil to produce 1 kilocalories of food. The pre-Columbian prairie-type of growing our food is more economical and ecological, consisting of different species in an order that co-exists with the natural world. Wouldn’t it be a more healthy, more protective and more pleasant to look at? 11

  12. 12. LEARN
 To make complex materials we heat, beat and treat. We heat petroleum products to high temperatures, subject them to high pressures and treat them in chemical baths (that are very toxic, and very expensive) Spiders make six kinds of silk, that are five times stronger – ounce by ounce - than steal. Imagine we could emulate spiders and take carbon-based, abundant and raw materials an allow them to self-assemble in silent processes, operating in water at room temperature and produce biodegradable fiber. 12

  13. 13. LEARN
 A leaf has tens of thousands of tiny photosynthetic reaction centres. In fact solar panels are mimicking natural operating processes as well. Every leaf or grass helm is currently producing energy in a more effective way than we do. Within each leaf, sun’s energy is absorbed, sending a negative charge to one side of a membrane and a positive charge to the other side. It is essentially a tin battery. Wouldn’t it be great if we could mimic that molecular battery to split water and make storable hydrogen? Probably a next step in solar to think about. 13

  14. 14. LEARN
 Cell biologists now realize that every cell in our body is in a sense a sophisticated computer, responding to signals and information from enzymes, antibodies, antigens and so on that attract or repel one another. They scan, each other, hook together, and self-assemble. It is a less 0 and 1-kind of paradigm, it is more three dimensional, and computer scientists are noticing much different possibilities if we would compute in the same way. 14

  15. 15. LEARN
 Ecosystems like coral reefs are densely interconnected. Every niche you can possibly imagine is filled. Waste equals food in all the biosphere. Industrial symbiosis is the idea of organizing our industry in the same way. Shift our economy form the linear ‘take-make-waste’ into closed-loop systems. 15

  16. 16. ROMANTIC
DREAMING?
 OR
 MAGICAL
REALISM
 16

  17. 17. REAL
 The goal was to cut out the extremely loud claps that occurred when Japan's bullet train emerged from tunnels. Engineers looked toward the kingfisher, which dives seamlessly into water. A nosecone designed after the bird's beak solved the issue. 17

  18. 18. REAL
 Mercedes-Benz looked towards the boxfish for their bionic car concept. Noting the aerodynamics and efficiency of the boxfish's shape, the engineers decided to apply the characteristics of the fish to a car. The result is a very streamlined vehicle with a 65% lower drag coefficient than other compact cars out at the time (2005). 18

  19. 19. REAL
 What better examples to use for underwater turbine design than the flora and fauna of the oceans? BioPower Systems did just this. Looking at the way sea plants move in currents and the efficient movements of fish like sharks and tuna, BioPower used evolution as its role model for designing turbines for effective tidal power generation. 19

  20. 20. REAL
 The best cleaner is no cleaner. Scientists today try to find out and hack how Lotus leafs manage to stay clean thanks to the patterns in their surface. 20

  21. 21. REAL
 If you've ever tried to pick a mussel off a rock or pier piling, you've likely noticed that they sure know how to stick to something. Columbia Forest Products looked at the natural adhesive abilities of the blue mussel and came up with a way to use soy-based formaldehyde-free technology in the construction of hardwood plywood products. 21

  22. 22. REAL
 Biomimicry can be used at even the tiniest of scales. Biosignal wanted to create a way to control bacteria without killing it, so that bacterial resistance can be avoided while preventing infection. The company took inspiration from the seaweed delisea pulchra, which has a way of stopping bacteria's ability to communicate. Colonies of bacteria then cannot form and cause infection, yet the bacteria isn't killed and doesn't form a resistant strain. 22

  23. 23. READ
 1.
Biomimicry
 Vision:
Nature
is
an
R&D
lab
with
a
billion
+
years
of
experience
 Price:
it
is
free
 Ask:
How
would
nature
solve
this?
 Learn:
from
form,
pa=erns
and

processes
in
nature
 Do:
Design
inspired
by
nature
 23

  24. 24. READ
 2.
Bioneering
 Vision:
The
Biosphere
is
an
opera,ng
system
 Ask:
How
do
we
use
the
power
of
nature
to
clean
up
our
mess?

 Do:
make
living
machines,
organize
ourselves
be=er
with
the
natural
 world
 24

  25. 25. REAL
 Mangus Larsson wants to halt the marching sands of desertification, with a 6,000-kilometer-long sandstone wall that would bisect Africa east to west at the southern edge of the Sahara. A particular microorganism can turn loose media, such as sand or soils, into rock-solid stone in about a day by creating calcium carbonate. “The idea is to stop the desert using the desert itself,” 25

  26. 26. REAL
 This is a living machine, the Restorers of John Todd are combinations of swamps, ponds and greenhouses that treats our sewage and waste water, purifies the rivers and provides ponds to breed fish for consumption. You find prototypes in different areas and climates, in Hawaii, Holland, Barcelona, Boston and Nigeria. 26

  27. 27. REAL
 Last but certainly not least, this is fomen fermentarus, it looks like an ordinary mushroom, but Paul Stamets, an expert in Fungi discovered six ways in which this sort of mushrooms can save the world. How they can restore depleted soils, help clean up contaminated ground, help us with reforestation, help us feed growing human populations,… 27

  28. 28. Hannover
Principles
 REMEMBER
  
Nature
runs
on
sunlight
  
Nature
only
uses
the
energy
it
needs
  
Nature
fits
form
to
func,on
  
Nature
recycles
everything
  
Nature
rewards
coopera,on
  
Nature
banks
on
diversity
  
Nature
demands
local
exper,se
  
Nature
curbs
excesses
from
within

  
Nature
taps
the
power
of
limits
 William
Mc
Donough,
author
of
Cradle‐to‐cradle
 28

  29. 29. Luc
Schuiten
–
Vegetal
City
 The
earth
belongs
to
the
living!
 stefaan@trinity‐planning.be
 29


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