Biomimetic Systems

Again, on a systematic scale, nature outstrips our efforts. 

There’s evidence that we should design distribution networks based on the looped veins that carry water and nutrients in most tree leaves…for increased resilience (if one section is severed, the water will still reach most of the leaf) and the ability to manage fluctuating loads.

This kind of network full of loops can also be found in the blood vessels of the retina, the architecture of corals, and the structural veins of insect wings, because it works! – And it is so much more efficient than the likes of the pipe systems we build with 90 degree corners that create friction…

Nature out performs us with certain communication systems too, despite how connected we think our world is. There can be 80 million locusts in a square kilometer, and yet they don’t collide with one another. Meanwhile, the US has 3.6million car collisions a year, we clearly have something to learn regarding sensing and feedback. 

On a grander scale, each of these individual organisms is inextricably linked to the ecosystem around them, frequently in a symbiotic relationship. The orchestration of nature is incredible, and contains so much we can learn from, especially regarding sustainability and a mutually beneficial relationship with the planet. 


The 2.5 acre project relies on its location in a tunnel to reduce heating and cooling costs. The temperature stays stable at 60 degrees all year round. There aren’t many airborne pests to worry about either. A simple filter takes out any nasties, and lets the produce–which includes pea shoots, rocket, broccoli, mustard leaf and basil–grow without pesticides.





Lumigrids » 2012 [Source]

“Lumigrids is an LED projector for bicycles, which aims to improve safety during night riding. It projects square grids onto the ground. By observing changes in the grids, the rider can easily comprehend the landforms ahead.”


Wow. That’s some awesome sci-fi shit

i cant even ride a bike and this is awesome


So when do we reach the point when all our technology can be happily disguised as more beautiful/ornamental items? I mean when will headsets start looking like garlands of flowers and when will TVs be flat and look like mirrors or works of art and when will it be easy to mistake my microwave for a tiny crackling fireplace?

I mean when will our routers look like beautiful books or ornate wooden
boxes? When will our speakers double as vases and when will the voices
of those little AI boxes like the Echo or Google Home issue from tiny
trees or fountains, helpful spirits for your home?


One of the more interesting things I have found when researching architecture: biomimicry. This sort of reminds me of Vitruvius and the Primitive Hut, the idea that everything comes from a very simple and primitive root. I think that if mankind ever reaches the point that they can replicate everything in nature, they will have fully mastered technology with nowhere left to go.


Leaf Batteries

A group of scientists at the University of Maryland, led by Hongbian Li, have devised a way of making batteries from tree leaves.

Where most modern batteries use lithium, the researchers were trying to find a convenient way to use sodium instead. Lithium and sodium are chemically similar, and sodium batteries would be able to hold more charge, but lithium batteries typically resist more charge-discharge cycles. Sodium is also a lot more abundant, making it cheaper to use.

Sodium has larger ions than lithium, so a sodium battery needs a different material for its anode (negative terminal). It turns out, one such material was simply lying on the ground. Leaves have all the right characteristics. Low surface area, porous, and with close packed internal structures large enough for sodium electrolytes to pass through.

To make a trial battery, Li and colleagues carbonised an oak leaf at 1000°C to burn away any underlying structure, leaving a pure carbon framework. They then allowed the leaf to soak up a watery sodium electrolyte solution. The result – carbonised plant leaves make excellent anodes for sodium batteries!

“A leaf is designed by nature to store energy for later use, and using leaves in this way could make large-scale storage environmentally friendly.“
– Liangbing Hu (co-author on the study)

Their study was published here in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.