Biomimicry is Gaining Traction

Nature inspires and designers know that. A recent look at some designs inspired by nature appeared on Co-Design recently.

DNA Designed Coffee Table

The version of the glass-topped Darwin table pictured here was formed from the DNA of Giulia Wolthuis, a contemporary dancer and the daughter of Dutch DNA founder Eric Wolthuis. The process starts with a standard genetic profile. After being analyzed by a lab in Holland, a piece of software translates the individual’s unique genetic characteristics into personalized 3-D forms. Exactly how this happens isn’t entirely clear, but if you don’t like how it looks, well, sorry, but it’s really no one’s fault but your own. Or maybe your parents.

Twin’z – Renault’s Nature Car

A few weeks ago, a teaser from Renault suggested that the car would be based on biomimicry–which made some wonder if there was a new, sustainable aspect to the design. That’s not exactly the case, unless you count the fact that the electric car gets great mileage. Lovegrove’s team focused solely on the bodywork and interiors, all borrowing from natural patterns and forms. The iridescent blue body (inspired by Yves Klein, according to Lovegrove) is coated in green LED lighting. A stippled grille maximizes the flow of air through the car. The headlight casings mimic a human iris. A layered LED roofscape “hoods passengers in a technological envelope that bathes them in a light which responds to the energy and pulse of Twin’Z,” explains Lovegrove. “Mechanical ‘hard’ aesthetics are making way for the biological principles of ‘soft’ aesthetics.”

Stingray Thin Plastic Sofa

The ghostly pieces mimic the proportions of traditional armchairs and tables, with a few flourishes. For example, the Uncle Jack chair and Uncle Jim sofa, which have armrests that snake upwards like a sting ray’s wings. The sofa is the most “daring” piece in the collection–it’s over six feet long, with a thinness of only a few millimeters. “A monolithic injected sofa wasn’t possible one year ago,” Starck explains. Then, with characteristic deadpan delivery, he explains why you need a giant plastic sofa: “Because you’re so smart and so charming and you have a lot of friends.” Oh.

Pretty exciting how nature inspires.

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