“……every morning, for every human being, is in some sort a morning after the night before…” Patrick Hamilton, The Slaves of Solitude, 1947
We intentionally play with the image of a drunk crazy night versus the awareness of a following sober morning, as the metaphor of our reality: we spend, we consume, we use and abuse as if there isn’t a tomorrow, and after we wake up and develop our social ecological attitude. In contemporary cities buildings are lit all night long for commercial purposes but we conceive them to be highly energy effective. Contemporary urbanism envisions multiple ecological networks, provided that increasing loads of immigrants do not disrupt the system intended for residents only. We investigate the contradiction between the consumerism we need to support our economies, and the ecological strategies we need to counterbalance it. We do not condemn the former to promote the second as present day reality is more complicate than that and we believe that architecture will require an outstanding capacity of flexibility and re-adaptation.
Once again we need to go back to Nature. Inexhaustible source of inspiration for artists, Nature is a reference for scientists too. It is precisely from the observation of its mechanisms and dynamics that the term biomimicry (often associated to bionics, robotics and nanotechnologies) has been conceived during the 1950’s. At beginning of the 1990’s US biologist Janine Benyus has boosted this discipline with the book “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature”.The purpose of this conceptual approach is to adapt the ingenuity of the flora and the fauna to improve existing technologies. These tips allow engineers, architects and designers to develop unique environmentally friendly products, but above all to have a different understanding of the environment they modify.
This is the way the “Velcro” has been conceived. This tie down system composed by two straps of different materials, better known as scratch has revolutionized the wearing apparel industry, thanks to the fortuitous research of George de Mestral on the burdock fruits. Their structure characterized by sort of small barbs provides an ingenious and simple way to close, hide and tie different parts of a garment. Thus, going from vegetable species to shoes is not an impossible step. The lotus, the sharks skin, the ant-hills, the water striders moving, have all triggered innovations. This research can be developed precisely through the observation of Nature where every element has its own function.
The field of architecture shares with the fauna some basic needs. We can speak for both of a “skin” a marvellous protecting instrument.The buildings like the animals have to protect themselves from heat or cold to keep an optimal temperature. To do so, they have to optimize their resources and strategies. So why not look at Nature as thr source of global inspiration with the aim of integrating form and function? The city of the future, in our vision, will be a place where people will consume globally while treating their waste locally, in their own houses, work and leisure places. Green buildings of 3rd generation will share info, energy, and powerful resources in a continous flow. After the excessive formalism of the past years , the current crisis is challenging the approach of designers . It is maybe the dawning of a new day.