biomimicry

New Photosensitive Smart Skin Could Cut Buildings’ Energy Use

New Photosensitive Smart Skin Could Cut Buildings’ Energy Use

Photo by Wonderlane University of California engineer Luke Lee and architect Maria-Paz Gutierrez are developing an advanced "skin" for buildings that would regulate temperature and humidity through the

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High-Flying Algae Airships are Self-Sufficient Airborne Cities

High-Flying Algae Airships are Self-Sufficient Airborne Cities

Architect Vincent Callebaut recently unveiled a blue-sky plan for a high-flying fleet of self-sufficient aircraft that are one part zeppelin cities and one part hydrogen-generating floating farms. Dubbed

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Vein-Like Piezoelectric Shower Harvests Kinetic Energy to Heat Water

Vein-Like Piezoelectric Shower Harvests Kinetic Energy to Heat Water

This incredible concept for a self-heating piezoelectric shower combines inspiration from the human body’s circulatory system with technological innovations in piezoelectricity. The fluid web of piping

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Bionic Humidifier: A Flower that Helps You Breathe Easier

Bionic Humidifier: A Flower that Helps You Breathe Easier

Nature, nurture and design come together in Gonglue Jiang's Bionic Humidifier -- a clever appliance masquerading as a potted plant that also functions as an indoor humidifier. Jiang’s artificial

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Grass Loveseat ‘Mow Chair’ Debuts in Milan

Grass Loveseat ‘Mow Chair’ Debuts in Milan

Fadi Sarieddine's awesome new grass-covered sofa, cleverly dubbed The Mow Chair aims to bring the great outdoors inside. Designed by Lebanese architect Fadi Sarieddine, this charming 'living' piece of

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Underwater Ocean City for a Future Australia

Underwater Ocean City for a Future Australia

Ocean City by Arup Biomimetics Forty years from now, Australia, as well as the rest of the world, could look dramatically different -- possibly even underwater, like this 'Ocean City' concept by Arup

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Plant-Based Molecules Could Create More Efficient Photovoltaic Devices

Plant-Based Molecules Could Create More Efficient Photovoltaic Devices

Plants are excellent at harnessing solar power, so it only makes sense that scientists would eventually study them for hints on how to develop more efficient photovoltaic devices. Chemists at the

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Underwater “Snookie” Robot is Inspired By Blind Fish

Underwater “Snookie” Robot is Inspired By Blind Fish

Biomimicry strikes again--this time with Snookie, an underwater robot that has an artificial sensory organ inspired by the "lateral-line system" seen in blind fish like the Astyanax. Snookie's artificial

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Future “Artificial Leaves” May Create Hydrogen Fuel from Sunlight and Water

Future “Artificial Leaves” May Create Hydrogen Fuel from Sunlight and Water

As far as sustainable energy systems go, nothing is quite as perfect as a plant: Through photosynthesis, plants create their own energy using only sunlight and water. For years, scientists have been

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Bioluminescent Lamp Made From Living, Glowing Hamster Cells

Bioluminescent Lamp Made From Living, Glowing Hamster Cells

It may sound like something cooked up in Frankenstein's lab, but Joris Laarman has created an incredible living lamp made out of (get this) bioluminescent, living, glowing hamster cells. Called the "Half

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Three-Layered Snail Shell Inspires Better Body Armor

Three-Layered Snail Shell Inspires Better Body Armor

Biomimicry: is there anything it can't do? The latest example of science imitating nature comes from researchers at MIT who have discovered that the shell of a tiny deep-sea snail could give way to tough,

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Spiraling Skyscraper Pod City For a Future New York

Spiraling Skyscraper Pod City For a Future New York

Design team Chimera has conceived of an incredible series of spiraling skyscrapers for New York's Hudson Yards that are modeled after the complex ecosystems created by the mangrove tree. Dubbed Mangal

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Nissan Uses Fish-Inspired Design to Increase Car Safety

Nissan Uses Fish-Inspired Design to Increase Car Safety

Believe it or not, vehicle designers can learn a lot from fish, which have the impressive ability to glide around obstacles, all while staying in a tightly controlled pack. If cars were able to do the

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100,000 Synthetic Trees Could Help Combat Climate Change

100,000 Synthetic Trees Could Help Combat Climate Change

The field of geo-engineering has launched all kinds of outlandish ideas for combating climate change, from dumping iron into the world's oceans to shooting mirrors into space. A report published last

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MIT Develops Robotic Fish to Detect Environmental Pollutants

MIT Develops Robotic Fish to Detect Environmental Pollutants

MIT engineers have developed a cheap, compact robotic fish that can go where no man (or underwater vehicle) has been able to go before. The pint-sized robofish, developed by Kamal Youcuf-Toumi and Pablo

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Living Growing Root Bridges Are 100% Natural Architecture

Living Growing Root Bridges Are 100% Natural Architecture

In the forests of Meghalaya, India, the War-Khasis people have discovered a patient way of crossing the many rivers of their wet region. By guiding the roots of an abundant species of rubber tree, they

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LEAF POWER: Artificial Glass Leaves Produce Energy via Transpiration

LEAF POWER: Artificial Glass Leaves Produce Energy via Transpiration

Everyone knows that trees combat climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide out of the air. Now, plant leaves are tackling global warming in another way -- by serving as models for a technology that

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Vegetal City: Idealistic Visions of Our Urban Future

Vegetal City: Idealistic Visions of Our Urban Future

Ever wonder what our modern-day cities could look like 100 years from now in a perfect world? Architect Luc Schuiten endeavors to find out with his Vegetal City installation, currently on display in

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Mermaid-Inspired Aquatic Building by JDS Architects

Mermaid-Inspired Aquatic Building by JDS Architects

Last week we featured flying architecture, and now here's a floating structure inspired by the grace and curvilinear form of a mermaid. European firm, JDS Architects' Mermaid building is in a way both

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Bird Bridge in Sweden by Visiondivision

Bird Bridge in Sweden by Visiondivision

We may be biased, given our love of owls here at Inhabitat, but the "Bird Bridge" by architectural firm visiondivision is quite a poetic design solution. Located deep in a forest in Gothenburg, Sweden,

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Monitoring Water Pollution With Robotic Fish

Monitoring Water Pollution With Robotic Fish

Soon, the water in Gijon, a harbor in Northern Spain will be monitored by robotic, battery-powered fish. These mechanical, articulating sea creatures were designed and tested by the Robotics Department at

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Qatar Sprouts a Towering Cactus Skyscraper

Qatar Sprouts a Towering Cactus Skyscraper

The Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture (MMAA) in Qatar is getting a brand new office building that takes the form of a towering cactus. Designed by Bangkok-based Aesthetics Architects, the

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Mushroom Cities: Tropical Urban Rainforests

Mushroom Cities: Tropical Urban Rainforests

As cities stretch to accommodate the world's skyrocketing population, loyal Inhabitat followers are surely familiar with skyscrapers and other vertical solutions to cope with urban densification. Still,

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MVRDV Designs Gwanggyo Green Power Center

MVRDV Designs Gwanggyo Green Power Center

Rotterdam-based architects MVRDV recently won the Gwanggyo City Centre Competition with their design of this incredible new city just south of Seoul, South Korea. Envisioned as a verdant acropolis of

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Ask Nature: Using Biomimicry to Solve Design Problems

Ask Nature: Using Biomimicry to Solve Design Problems

The Biomimicry Institute recently teamed up with Autodesk to launch AskNature.org, an incredible source of information for the growing community of professionals researching and applying the principles of

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The Breezy, Beautiful Brazilian Leaf House

The Breezy, Beautiful Brazilian Leaf House

Outside of Rio de Janeiro, on a beautiful little beach with amazing blue water, sits a little house with a flowering roof that shades and protects like a big tropical banana leaf. Designed by Mareines +

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The Watercube Wins Australia’s Highest Architecture Award

The Watercube Wins Australia’s Highest Architecture Award

The Chinese National Aquatic Center, better known as the Watercube, recently won the most prestigious architecture award from the Australian Institute of Architecture! Although not officially a cube, the

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The Solar Powered COM-BAT Spy Plane

The Solar Powered COM-BAT Spy Plane

In this season of specters and spooks, what could be scarier than a steel-winged robotic spy plane shaped like a bat? The aptly named COM-BATis a six-inch surveillance device that is powered by solar,

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SPOOKY ECO HOUSE: The Dragspelhuset Accordion House

SPOOKY ECO HOUSE: The Dragspelhuset Accordion House

Photo courtesy of James Silverman Photography While this cabin looks spookily lizard-like, its unusual structure was created in response to Swedish environmental building regulations. The solar-powered

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Solar LED ‘Leaf’ Streetlights by Jongoh Lee

Solar LED ‘Leaf’ Streetlights by Jongoh Lee

What if instead of standard streetlights your nighttime walks were brightened by light-laden boughs of luminous leaves? That's the concept behind Jongoh Lee's elegant Invisible Streetlight, a

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