Natural Model: Molecules
Molecules are components made up of atoms that compose various types of objects like the human tendon. Molecules tied into a rope like form are called fibrilis. Multiple fibrilis bound together make up fascicles. Multiple fascicles together form a tendon. The accumulation and nesting of the simple molecules create a strong, yet very flexible tendon in the human body .
Natural Model: Poorwill
Photo credit A bird known as the poorwill can cool itself with minimal energy. It’s fluttering of the gular pouch causes air to move over a membrane of its throat. Together, convective as well as evaporative cooling helps the highly vascularized area to lose heat .
Natural Model: Elephants
(Photo credit) Thousands of years ago, elephants had smooth skin. Then, through a genetic mutation, the skin evolved into a wrinkled version. The elephant was able to dissipate more heat due to the increased surface area which allowed it to increase in size without running risk of overheating. Hence, the elephant is now the largest land mammal on earth .
Natural Model: Duck preening
Due to the finite amount of resources, nature operates on a highly efficient modus by attaching multiple functions to anything it produces.
photo credit During a duck’s preening process, the feathers are not only cleaned, but also covered with preen oil, which water-proofs the coat and moisturizes the duck’s beak. Additionally, when the preen oil gets exposed to sun light, the UV converts it to Vitamin D that improves the overall health of the duck .
Natural Model: Bird flight
The wing shape of birds varies depending on the need of the bird . A hummingbird, for example, needs to be able to hover while it is stealing the nectar from flowers, so the wings have a high aspect ratio (photo credit).
Natural Model: Mongooses
“Of all lifeforms that ever existed, 99% have died out…”
…what is alive today has successfully adapted to a changing environment over time . In evolution, every living form carries information. If the organism is successful, that information will carry on, letting unsuccessful information die out or get modified.
Natural Model: Mangrove islands
Living organisms act in their own interest, establishing a greater system that is conducive to life.
Mangrove islands grow through self-organization . Seeds float in the water until they embed themselves into a sandy shallow area. Roots grow, sand and sediments collect in the area, allowing seeds to grow into trees. Continue reading
During my research, a pressing question kept on creeping up. Why do we produce things the way we produce them?
Looking back, there was a time where humans did not know that our resources are finite. We thought of nature as this free grocery store to just take from without giving back. It all started during the industrial revolution (1750–1850). Continue reading
Recently, a discussion on linkedin brought up an interesting issue. The one of non-living material and its relationship to living material. (Thank you Nikolay and Julian)
Nature does indeed recycle all materials. The speed at which some materials are being recycled is so slow that it is hard for human beings to “see” the transformation, but that does not mean it does not exist.
Natural model: Tree leaves
photo credit Growing leaves takes a lot of energy from the tree, but it provides the tree with the needed sun energy by means of photosynthesis. They also capture sequestered carbon dioxide and convert it into oxygen . During the winter months, when sunshine hours are reduced, the tree preserves its energy by dropping the leaves onto the ground. There they perform two functions. First, they protect the root system from cold temperatures. Secondly, they decomopost and become nutrients to the fungal cycle which in turn converts into soil to help the tree grow. In this closed-loop system, there is no waste. Energy and matter gets recycled into a system that can benefit from each stage.
Once they fall to the ground they provide a protection layer to the environment around the tree, through decomposition, they add nutrition to the mycorrhizal layer (fungi and root system) and become part of bacteria and soil in order to foster new growth.
Natural model: Elk antlers
photo credit Elks grow antlers for mating purposes as well as for dominance rituals. The antlers do continue to grow larger each season, Continue reading
Natural Model: Arctic Fox
The arctic fox adapts to its seasonal surrounding. During the snow covered months the fur changes into a white color, and with the melting of the snow, the color of the coat goes back to an earthy colored pattern. Continue reading
Graphic design is often wasteful, non-efficient, and costly. The global pulp and paper industry alone is one of the largest polluters on earth . It is the 3rd largest industrial polluter releasing 9% of total manufacturing carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. 220 million pounds of toxic pollution and 3 million tons of chlorine are released into water ways and air on an annual basis. Adding to that, deforestation adds another 120 billion tons of CO2 annually .
Other pollution sources are: ink compounds, VOC, binding materials, transportation, electronic tools and electricity.
In contrast, nature operates within a closed loop system and all “waste” has a purpose in supporting new life.