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Architecture Follows Nature-Biomimetic Principles for Innovative Design (CRC Press Series in Biomimetics) 0th Edition

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1466506077
ISBN-10: 1466506075
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Editorial Reviews


"…This is an informative read that inspires me and opens new worlds to elementary school kids I teach on-trail throughout Los Angeles. We're rediscovering the cheapest tech and best filter designed long before we arrived. With California in severe drought, Mazzoleni’s water-capture designs offer ideas for lasting solutions."
―Mahgum Asgarian, Environmental Instructor, Los Angeles, California, USA

"The main strength of this book is its selection of a relatively narrow range of biological function―the outer covering―which allows a relatively detailed account of the important factors in both biology and architecture. This allows the author to reject, with good arguments, the myths which litter biomimicry. This gives the book high credibility, which is unusual in this topic area. ... This book is an interesting combination of textbook and inspiration and can be read as either. The introduction is very wide ranging, establishing the need for sympathetic architecture with the argument that biomimicry provides a good chance to achieve such a goal. But how can the application of biological paradigms help us to repair our planet? Mazzoleni's answer is skin - the interfacial layer between structures and the world. It's across this membrane, hard or soft in different animals, that we and our buildings have the chance to control and, we hope, ameliorate our influence."
―Julian Vincent, Swedish Biomimetics 3000, UK

"A positive addition to the literature relating biology’s influence on architectural design. It provides a bridge between the worlds of science and design, perhaps providing groundwork for a more holistic way to move forward."
―Susannah Dickinson, Assistant Professor, University of Arizona, USA

"The book is certainly a valuable introduction to the application of biomimetic principles in building design."
―Thomas Auer, Transsolar, Germany

"The long-gone Japanese Metabolists, and many more after them adopted an organic jargon of nature to address climatic, static and expressive problems. But now that the "envelope" prevails over type in architecture and other things, it has become necessary to search for languages that are careful to optimise the thermal, technical, protective and lighting specifications of this new world of ours, made of free and wavy surfaces. We can thus consider biomimetic principles developed by studying the skins of certain animals and insects that manage to survive in extreme conditions (hot and freezing), and then transfer the characteristics of the perfect covering of these admirable animals to the skins of buildings, their lighting systems, thermal resistence, ventilation and energy performance. This is the theory explored by Ilaria Mazzoleni, a teacher at SCI-Arc (Los Angeles), with her students via extensive scientific and theoretical arguments, a beautifully drawn bestiary and examples of architectural applications."
––Allessandro Mendini, DOMUS Magazine

"Mazzoleni describes many ways that biology and the process of evolution specifically can be used to inspire better design in overview of environmental and biological systems and processes that provide an elegant supplement to what many will have forgotten from high school. Overall the book is a wonderful first step and one that biologists, architects and the public at large are going to learn something from. It is both practical and optimistic, very well researched and conceived…"
––Claire Saeki, RFP Magazine

About the Author

Ilaria Mazzoleni is an architect and the founder of IM Studio Milano/Los Angeles. Her conceptual work has been published globally, and her built work can be found in Italy, California, and Ghana. Ilaria has gained attention in the fields of sustainable architecture and biomimicry. This has led to her being invited to participate in multiple international conferences and workshops and her written contributions are published in several international architectural magazines. Since 2005 she has been a full-time faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles. Her professional and academic investigation relates to sustainable architecture on all scales of design with a research focus on biomimicry, where innovation in architecture and design is inspired by the processes and functions of nature.

Collaborating with biologists and other scientists from top research institutions, her projects explore the connections between biotic and abiotic elements within eco-systems in order to develop sustainable urban planning strategies and address solutions to global climate change. An ongoing research program has centered on understanding how organisms have evolved and adapted to their environment, and applying that knowledge to design building façades. The conceptual implications arising from biomimetics and design have led to a body of work that investigates innovative material processes, forms, geometries and structural patterns.

Shauna Price is an evolutionary biologist focusing on speciation in neotropical insects. Her research examines the historical and ecological factors contributing to the high species diversity found in ants with the use of genetic tools, geological data, and morphological analyses. In addition to conducting research, Shauna has collaborated with Ilaria Mazzoleni and IM Studio MI/LA on multiple bio-inspired design projects. She contributes a strong background in ecology and evolution to these studies, with the perspective that inspiration in architecture and design can stem from organisms as small as microbes to broad ecosystem scales. In particular, symbiotic relationships―close, ongoing associations that have co-evolved between different species―inform her perspective in merging biology with design.

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Product Details

  • Series: CRC Press Series in Biomimetics
  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press (March 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466506075
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466506077
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Of all the books that have crossed my desk in 2013, Ilaria Mazzoleni's Architecture Follows Nature: Biomimetic Principles for Innovative Design stands out as something very special.
The book is the latest in Yosef Bar-Cohen's Biomimetics series, and it brings the emerging field of biomimicry into architecture in a more literal sense than we have previously seen. The book picks up where Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, the Japanese Metabolists, and Frei Otto leave off, and then goes somewhere truly novel.
There is a long tradition of architects exploring the relationship between the built environment and the larger natural world it is situated within. Frank Lloyd Wright felt that "every building should grow naturally from within its surroundings," and more recently, we've come to feel that a building should behave as a unified organism, or an ecosystem. We want our cities and buildings to "evolve" as our needs change. We want them to be expandable, flexible, capable of organic growth and transformation.
What's different here is that Mazzoleni, an architect, takes this vision quite literally. Any locale presents us with a unique set of challenges. The creatures that evolved in that place have spent eons of evolutionary time solving those same challenges. By studying them, we can find more sustainable solutions of our own. Just as animals have skeletal, circulatory, neurological, and digestive systems, so do buildings have structure, air circulation, heating, wiring, and plumbing. The specifics of those systems should be tailored to the specific environment the organism exists in. Figuring out exactly how is the realm of biology, and Mazzoleni wisely chose to collaborate with evolutionary biologist Shauna Price on this book.
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