The book of the mimicry of the living


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Protective Pigmentation

Squids use their colour-changing chromatophores for camoflauge from predators and communication within the species. GPT Architecture even label this as “Protective Pigmentation” in the very sparse document describing their biomimetic inspirations, so at one point they probably even understood why squids do this.

By the way, we can also fly.. [cc]

By the way, we can also fly.. [cc]

However, this seems to be rapidly forgotten in favour of something flashy. Flexible photovoltaics also exist  and I think they’re awesome. Obviously though squid don’t gain energy from the sun. That’s plants. As I’ve pointed out, squid eat things to get energy, and are apparently very fussy about what due to potential damage to their doughnut shaped brain which surrounds their throat.

Again, beyond the fact that Protective Pigmentation ≠ Energy Generation, the other problem I have with this is one of design. GPT are based in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. Their location has average annual temperatures of 24°C, with typical summer days reaching up to 30°C. With 330 mean monthly sunshine hours in August, they know things can get hot. What I don’t get is why the umbrellas are even there. Remember how the first point of squid-inspiration was ‘Transparency’? Put these facts together.

  • The architect has [incorrectly] identified that squids are transparent
  • The architect is designing for a hot, semi-arid, sunny climate
  • The architect includes umbrellas that unfurl across the glass structure to block sunshine and prevent the building overheating

From this, I get that the architects say they are going to create a greenhouse, in Spain, then cover over the glass because it gets too hot inside… What is this. I don’t even.


Author: davergp

Environmental Geoscience BSc. Environmental Design of Buildings MSc. Bonsai Hobbyist, Woodland Enthusiast, Environ-mentalist.

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