Biophilic, Biomimicry, and Bioinspired Design– Blog 5

The most memorable thing about this week was the TED Talk with Elora Hardy. I was astonished by the innovativeness, architecture, problem solving skills, and dedication Elora Hardy and her team has put into these bamboo buildings. I never considered designing an entire building out of only bamboo. I honestly didn’t know that was even possible. Everything about these buildings amazes me; plus they are beautiful. I love that they chose bamboo due to it’s ability to regenerate quickly, light hallow structure, strength, and earthquake resistant. In relation to the Biophilic Design Video and thinking about the impact nature has on us, I can’t help but think I would live a much happier and healthier life in a bamboo house. In the video they talked about how no one would want to spend any length of time in a room without windows, and I couldn’t agree more. The beauty of nature and the power of natural sunlight play a huge role in our physical, mental, and emotional health. It also made me think about how doctor’s offices usually have fish tanks in the waiting room and pictures of fish in the patience’s room to give patience’s a sense of peace and calmness.

This week we talked more about biomimicry in the Apparel Industry and once again, I learned something new. When I was younger, I learned how trees transport water from its roots to its leaves. During my four years studying apparel merchandising, I’ve also learned how certain fibers and finishes can be applied to fibers/fabrics that will aid in its wicking ability. However, this was the first time that someone connected the dots between the two and opened my eyes to an entirely new way of designing moisture management fabrics. I find it so inspiring and fascinating to see how researchers took their knowledge of plant’s water transportation system and apply it to the way garments are made. I would have never thought to emulate a plant’s branching structure by using three layers of yarns and interchange the bottom layer yarns and top layer yarns to create a continue water transport pass that emulates a plant’s xylem conduit.

The article Polymer based interfaces as bioinspired ‘smart skins’ was also eye opening and a very interesting read, however a little hard to read. Not only did I learn a lot about wearable systems designed smart and flexible active devices, passive structures, and based on organic synthetic materials, but I also learned a lot about the natural skin and all it’s properties/capabilities. The research and science involved with creating bioinspired smart skins blows my mind. . I particularly enjoyed reading about the wetsuit for divers called SmartSkin, where the material is able to shrink and cool the diver’s skin when the diver’s temperature surpasses the gel threshold and swell when the diver’s temperature falls. Even though there are still several challenging problems with smart skins, it shows that our industry is headed or has the ability to head in the right direction. I think it’s exciting to think about all the endless possibility that these smart skins can be used for and all the health benefits it can provide.

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