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Biomimetics for Architecture

Learning from Nature

Ed. by Knippers, Jan / Schmid, Ulrich / Speck, Thomas

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June 2019
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Abstracting instead of copying: in search of the formula for success

Radde, Nicole / Paul, Debdas / Bischoff, Manfred


For thousands of years, we have drawn on examples from nature for our technical inventions. We frequently observe animals and plants directly to see how they have solved a certain problem, and then we transfer this solution to technology. But would it not be fascinating to develop new technical solutions with natural methods rather than just transferring existing solutions from nature to technology? Beyond specific solutions to individual problems, there is the issue of general strategies natural systems use to function reliably and to achieve a fascinating combination of efficiency, adaptability, and robustness. We are not talking here about the known strategies of evolution, but about the success formula underlying the blueprints evolution creates. One idea for getting to grips with this natural plan is based on the observation of formal analogies-abstract relationships between what seemingly is not related. We are talking about the search for nature’s mathematical formula for success.

Citation Information

Nicole Radde, Debdas Paul, Manfred Bischoff (2019). Abstracting instead of copying: in search of the formula for success. In Jan Knippers, Ulrich Schmid, Thomas Speck (Eds.), Biomimetics for Architecture: Learning from Nature (pp. 167–171). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783035617917-022

Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783035617917

Online ISBN: 9783035617917

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/BostonGet Permission

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