Posts Tagged ‘rabbits’

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A Rabbit Detour

February 12, 2011

It is said that Rabbits are one of the only species of animal simultaneously considered pets, pests, and livestock animals by people in the same culture. talk about being so versatile!

Rabbits, animals, forests, and the whole ecosystem are fascinating me these days. I’m looking at nature as a live book or a very animated teacher, sometimes, it becomes a good listerner friend when I find myself babbling on today’s issues and problems we face daily.

In celebrating the new Chineese Year, and in keeping with the spirit of the rabbit, I will maintain sensitive ears and eyes to watch my surrounding, continue an unpredictable way of dealing with life’s detours, and still go with the flow.

It’s been almost 2 years since i last wrote something on this blog, or any place for the matter. it was not beacuse i didn’t have anything to say or the time to say it. i was simply getting too much involved in everything that i didn’t take the time to reflect on things as they happen. A requirement to make the necessary connections.

To say the least, it was a speedy, bumpy ride. However, with every slow-down over a bump, i managed to take a quick glance on the scenery around me, get lost numerous times, and overall enjoyed the ride. In times of change like this one, i plan to write about those speedy roads, as well as the unpredictable detours.

One of those short turns was my initial encounter with biomimicry 4 years ago. I fail to remember when did i hear about it first, but i rememeber very well how much sense it made to me. The basics are considering nature as a model, as a measure, and as a mentor. In Janine Benyus’s book “Biomimicry: Innovation inspired by nature”, she explained those facts:

1. Nature as model. Biomimicry is a new science that studies nature’s models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf.

2. Nature as measure. Biomimicry uses an ecologucal standard to judge the “rightness” of our innovations. After 3.8 billion years of evolution, nature has learned. What works. What is appropriate. What lasts.

3. Nature as mentor. Biomimicry is a new way of viewing and valuing nature. it introduces an era based not on what we can extract from the natural world, but on what we can learn from it.

As i hit another bump in my life, Architectural Engineering, I see a big connection between both fields and a story that screams to be told. There has been many attemps and examples on using nature as our inspirational teacher when desinging our buildings. One of the famous ones is the East Gate Center in Harare, Zimbabwe. Designed by Mick Pearce and Arup Associates, developed an air conditioning system modeled on the self-cooling mounds of Termites.

Image source: http://inhabitat.com/building-modelled-on-termites-eastgate-centre-in-zimbabwe/

I claim no interest in developing a final model of a building that took nature as its first draft, but i have an urge to find where biomimicry links with the design process or design thinking for the matter. If the Rabbit lives in burrows or underground passages which they excavate in the soil, how does one of its predators (the fox for example) design its home? Does it look for rabbit hideouts or it locates it in a place that best fits the family need? does it consider the material available on hand or it has special requirements? how does their home serve their lifestyle?

That, and other things, are some of the upcoming bumps I look forward to find on my road.

Happy Rabbit’s Year.