Blog 5

Week 6

In week 6, we further discussed sustainability and designs inspired by nature. My learning community discussed the article about smart skins and each learning community discussed the 14 patterns of Biophilic Design. We watched Elora Hardy’s TED Talk about building houses in Bali out of bamboo and a video about a company in India that makes edible spoons. The class also learned about Eco-Design and the TED 10 principles.


This article reviews the different types of smart skins that are being developed. The different types of smart skins that the article discusses are tactile sensing, thermal sensing and regulating, environmental energy harvesting, ultra-violet protection, and chromatic mimetism. Tactile sensing smart skins are being used for many purposes, such as virtual reality. Thermal sensing and regulating smart skins sense changes in the wearer’s body temperature and adapt to their needs. Environmental energy harvesting smart skins mimic how the body harvests energy from the environment. Ultra-violet protection smart skins mimic the ways that the body adapts to exposure to UV rays. Chromatic mimetism smart skins mimic the way that animals can change their color to be camouflaged.


In her TED Talk, Elora Hardy talks about building houses out of bamboo in Bali. The houses have an open design, they are made without walls in order to let in cool air. Bamboo grows fast and can grow a meter in three days. It has the tensile strength of steel and the compressibility of concrete, while still being light weight. Since bamboo grows fast and is strong, it makes a great building material.

There is a company in India called Bakey’s that makes edible spoons from rice and wheat. These spoons are an alternative for plastic spoons, which contain harmful chemicals and aren’t biodegradable. The edible spoons are biodegradable, vegan, and come in different flavors.


Biophilia is the connection to nature that all humans have. Thermal and air flow variability is the way air flow, temperature, and humidity can mimic nature. Fans, space heaters, and humidifiers are examples of thermal and air flow variability. Presence of water is a design where seeing, hearing, or touching water enhances a place. Fountains are an example of the presence of water. Material connection with nature are elements and materials that are taken from nature and slightly processed. Granite counters and wood tables are examples of material connection. Biophilic design is beneficial because it can raise someone’s self-esteem.


Eco-Design is a way of designing that focuses on environmental impact. There are many different brands of clothing that have sustainable practices, including Repair the World and Lur Apparel. Repair the World is a brand of clothing that is sustainable. They are open about their practices and strive to be sustainable in every aspect of their company. Lur Apparel is a sustainable clothing brand that is certified by Green America, PETA, and repair the world.

TED 10 principles

The second TED 10 principle is design for cyclability. Upcycling, disassembly, and mono materiality are examples of designing for cyclability. Upcycling is designing a product in to a new product. Disassembly is taking apart a product in order to recycle the products different materials. Mono Materiality is making a product out of one material so that it can stay in a closed loop. The sixth TED 10 principle is design that takes models from nature and history. Learning from nature rather than taking from it is an example of design that takes models from nature and history. Velcro was inspired by the way that burs get caught in an animal’s fur. The silk that spiders produce inspired the design of Kevlar.


This is a sketch of a dress that has a panel in the bodice that is made from the lining of a jacket. The jacket is made of tan pleather and has a floral print lining on the inside. I have had the jacket for over four years and it is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, the pleather is starting to peel and I haven’t found a way of fixing it, so I decided that I will reuse the materials from the jacket to make something new.


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