Naturally Inspired Design


Azadeh Rabbani Rankouhi
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Architecture
The Pennsylvania State University
May 2012

The current economic turmoil, persistent questions about climate change and the ubiquitous need for sustainable practices has attracted designers to turn to biomimicry for solutions to these problems. The practice of biomimicry has resulted in numerous breakthroughs in fields such as transportation, material science, and medicine.

However, the extension of biomimicry principles into the field of architecture remains in its infancy. Currently the integration of biomimicry principles in the field of architecture appears to often be solely aesthetic or the result of a random, unrepeatable process.

Therefore, the aim of this thesis by Azadeh Rabbani Rankouhi, is the systemization of biomimicry application in the field of architecture. The methods utilized herein rely on the analysis of successful samples of biomimicry in other fields.

In the process, challenges that hinder the application of biomimicry in architecture are identified and addressed. The research concludes that a systematic collection of natural data and subsequent creation of a database abates the challenges that prevent designers from approaching biomimicry as an inspirational tool.

The flexible nature of this database creates a platform for different disciplines to contribute which in turn will result in generating new building related ideas while constantly examining the existing content.

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