Technology of the future with lessons from nature

During millions of years of continual evolution, nature has perfected solutions to many of the questions posed by contemporary engineers and architects. But perhaps now, the most intriguing question...

By Henry Cardona Meza

Posted on August 10th, 1999 | in Architecture

During millions of years of continual evolution, nature has perfected solutions to many of the questions posed by contemporary engineers and architects. But perhaps now, the most intriguing question is how can the integration of bionic findings be transformed into practice? The easiest way may be thought to be the direct imitation of nature, but this is often difficult if not impossible. Although researches have found that it is more advantageous to understand the principles of why things work in nature than slavishly copying natural models.

Early in the Renaissance period, Leonardo da Vinci drew sketches of flying vehicles based on the observation of natural principles (fig 2). He was probably one of the earliest bionicists who set the pedestal for the further development of aircraft. Other examples of bio-experimentation can be found in different fields of technology across the history. But in the area of our interest, architects like Antonio Gaudí, whose architecture was perhaps a copy of creation (fig 3), Pier Luigi Nervi, Frei Otto, Eero Saarinen, among others have a long row of brilliant bio-architectural examples.

Leonardo da Vinci Antonio Gaudí


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