On Biomimicry

The innovative and emerging discipline of Biomimicry offers us a new lens through which to look at our built environment design challenges to achieve ecological solutions to making things, processing things, growing resources and organizing our industries; going beyond our current practice of sustainability.

In this elective course we will get an introduction to the discipline biomimicry using a variety of examples, case studies and pioneers in the field. We will then learn to biologically translate these inspirations into our design process.

We will look into how this field can be adopted in our daily design explorations and develop a biologically-centered framework which can be used in our design process. Such a framework will include finding inspiration from a myriad of multi-disciplinary fields including biology, industrial ecology, future scenario building, and systems thinking. We will learn how to adopt nature on 3 levels into our work and view it as a mentor, measure and model towards inspiration;
1. Form (the emulation of nature’s form or function),
2. Process (learn from the way nature produces things or evolves)
3. System (examine how nature deals with things like waste and regeneration inside closed-loop lifecycles)

Course Leader:  Anna Maria Orru

An Ecological architect and curator of research/knowledge/interest. She works with biomimicry, systems thinking and future scenario building, thus trying to provide an innovative approach in the field of sustainable architecture, urbanism and design, using a multi-disciplinary collaborative approach to further invite ‘out-of-the- box’ interactionsPreviously worked for firms such as Arup, Grimshaw, Shigeru Ban and Exploration Architecture, now as a freelancer in for and in different capacities. She believes that nature provides imaginative and creative solutions to the complex issues we are currently grappling within the built environment. Her past research for ARUP’s was published in ‘Drivers of Change 2006’ by Editorial 2G, embodying future scenario building cards used for interactive discourse workshops. This diverse experience gave a greater consideration to the forces driving global change, and the role we can play in creating a more sustainable future. She behaves as a connective tissue, working between the creative and scientific disciplines by bringing a variety of diverse talents to the table to tackle issues around climate change more creatively; be it through artistic interventions, sensory design or experience design.  Currently, she is involved on projects dealing with food and its relationship to the city, highlighted in the ongoing project for Stockholm City (Norra Djugarden) entitled FOODPRINTS.  

www.annamariaorru.com    www.scene-thinking.com    www.fo.am