Decoding Biomimicry the STEM Way


“If birds can glide for long periods of time, then why can’t I?” – Orville Wright

Perhaps it is this very thought that prompted the Wright Brothers to create their airplane – records state that it was the flight of pigeons that inspired the flow and design! Isn’t it amazing what observation and research can lead to? 

Image: Airplane by Wright Brothers

Popular since time immemorial, Biomimicry is the conscious emulation of Nature’s genius. At Studio Emergence, we’re driven by an interest in the world around us – which is why Biomimicry as a concept and design tool, comes quite naturally to us.

Biomimicry can come in handy for Parametricism in specific and Architecture in general through a variety of ways; for instance, termite mounds have been studied to control cooling in high-temperature countries. There are three possible levels of intervention; Organism, Behaviour, and Ecosystem. 

Image: Eastgate Centre

At Studio Emergence, we undertake such research that can lead to innovations in architecture and can make one feel closer to nature, at a time when concrete jungles are increasingly growing. We believe there are 3 paths to it; – Using Nature as a model: here, we discover processes, materials, and forms and create an abstract version from them. This helps us in creating more life-like design that’s organic and authentic to look, feel, and touch. For Chandigarh’s Matka Chowk, we were inspired by the juxtaposition of Le Corbusier’s clean lines and the evening sky with birds in flight. By using empathetic Biomimicry, we were able to bring these murmurations to life with the help of Rhinoceros 3D and CFD Analysis for wind analysis and geometric optimization. 

Image: Matka Chowk

Using Nature as a measure: here, we test and audit what exists in order to understand opportunites for design. For instance, research for a public installation led us to understand how bees protect one another in their hive, which led us to making an interactive space that envelops one as they walk in. 

Image: Bee Hive

Using Nature as a mentor: here, we try to understand the context where we are creating. This helps us to hone in on a vision that is authentic, and increases the likelihood of consumer needs being met. Moreover, it helps us revitalise how solutions can be created. For our new office space in Dubai, we were inspired by the sand dunes that populate the landscape. These undulations helped create a design language that is indigenous yet contemporary. 

Image: Dubai Office

As questions of sustainability and future-oriented design continue to be a part of our process, we’re looking forward to creating more such projects inspired by Biomimicry! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *