Harvard Magazine has an article on biomimicry, a subject which continues to receive a steady trickle of attention, focusing on its application to building architecture - Architecture That Imitates Life.
The relationship between architecture and nature, for the last 500 years or so, has been one of juxtaposition. Architects and planners, referring to their creation as the “built environment,” have put nature—that other environment—into the cross-hairs, hoping either to trim it into submission or to push it outside city limits altogether.
This is beginning to change. Increasingly, architects look to nature as something not simply to incorporate into architecture, but as an inspired model for building design. “As a practicing architect, one of the reasons I went to the Graduate School of Design was to investigate landscape ecology,” explains Thomas Knittel, M.D.S. ’06. “Buildings are so tightly conceived—mechanical systems, structural systems, and high expectations for comfort. But with nature, there is variability built into the system, because it is in a constant state of flux.” Achieving equilibrium with the environment is “where we hope to go with architecture, designing buildings with gradients and responsiveness.”