The book of the mimicry of the living

The 5 Great Biomimicry Applications Series – Plants 4


Day 4! – Submit biomimicry ideas though the comments section, I’ll provide information on it’s previous use in biomimicry tonight. For once in your you life there is really no such thing as a wrong answer, so hit me with your best shot! (<- p.s. I know they’re supposed to be SUPER SECRET but I swear that’s Michael Moore on lead guitar)

Inspiring Organism – Lily Pads

Underside of Giant Lily Pad from Danger Garden’s Blog

Lily pads are very thin but massive structures, and contain few to no buoyant air sacs. Instead they have a long, detailed network of ribs which very efficiently spread the weight of the structure and ensure that the leaf doesn’t buckle. If it did it would lose the surface tension which keeps it from sinking. They also have a spikey underside which can curl up.

Cick more for the my answer…

Inspired Product – Stadium roofs

The roof of the Palazzetto dello Sport (Pier Luigi Nervi, 1958) from Archisketches Blog

Pier-Luigi Nervi used these as the basis of many of his designs, using the ribs to support great curving domed roofs which only needed support at the very edges. While engineers may point out that the principle of arch is an ancient discovery, as is the dome, Nervi was novel in his use of a network of ribs to efficiently transfer this weight across the whole expansive structure. Along with the pioneering use of new mixes of concrete combined with the tensile strength of steel mesh, he was able to deliver projects at a lower budget than competitors due to his minimal material requirements. Additionally use modular, on site casting rather than factory fabrication and shipping brought other benefits which I’ll examine in more detail at a later date.

David Cleaton had the right idea, and Stu describes an application I didn’t know about in his comment! Which is the point! Zach obviously gets points for geek reference. Every morning I wake up a little bit sad I won’t be going through a new puddle anymore…


Author: DaveParr

Data Science, Environmental Science, Making and Music

4 thoughts on “The 5 Great Biomimicry Applications Series – Plants 4

  1. Structural engineering for light yet strong structures…. such as interesting roofs, or something.

  2. How about the city in Stargate Atlantis?

  3. Those ribs and spans of the giant lily pads (like ) are an architectural marvel, especially to Victorian horticulturalist/architect/general polymath Joseph Paxton who – not content with being the first to successfully grow the tropical waterlilies in Britain – used them as his structural inspiration for the wonderfully preposterous Crystal Palace:

  4. Pingback: The Scientific Argument for Scientific Argument 1 – Angry at Auntie (i.e. The BBC) | The Biomimicron

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