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Putting nature to work

Hopf, Andreas LU ; Nordin, Axel LU and Janhager, Jenny (2011)
Abstract
The idea for nature based research design emerged in preparation of a workshop and subsequent exhibition regarding minimal surfaces, supervised by Andreas Hopf, Senior Lecturer at Lund University School of Industrial Design, and supported by Prof. Dr. Konrad Polthier (Chair Mathematical Geometry Processing, FU Berlin) at the DESIGNMAI digital crafts event in Berlin in 2007, for which Swedish design students from LTH explored a limited range of naturally occurring morphologies with respect to their aesthetic potential. Minimal surfaces are of particular interest in molecular engineering and architecture where they were studied and put to use by Frei Paul Otto or Félix Candela Outeriño already in the 50s and 60s to realise highly aesthetic... (More)
The idea for nature based research design emerged in preparation of a workshop and subsequent exhibition regarding minimal surfaces, supervised by Andreas Hopf, Senior Lecturer at Lund University School of Industrial Design, and supported by Prof. Dr. Konrad Polthier (Chair Mathematical Geometry Processing, FU Berlin) at the DESIGNMAI digital crafts event in Berlin in 2007, for which Swedish design students from LTH explored a limited range of naturally occurring morphologies with respect to their aesthetic potential. Minimal surfaces are of particular interest in molecular engineering and architecture where they were studied and put to use by Frei Paul Otto or Félix Candela Outeriño already in the 50s and 60s to realise highly aesthetic and resilient thin-shell structures.



It became apparent that, for various reasons, the field of natural-mathematical morphologies did not rank high on designers’ agendas – which seemed to be at odds with the respectable goal of sustainable product development many practitioners associate themselves with. Taken designers’ open-mindedness and inquisitiveness, a surprisingly limited set of deficitary symbols (leaf, tree, hexagon, the colours green and blue, etc.) continues to saturate the creative disciplines to a degree that one could be tempted to claim that nature’s vocabulary is already nearing exhaustion. In many cases, unfortunately, nature-inspired design serves as specious greenwashing ingredient in marketing strategies, bestowing a sustainable aura on actually very unsustainable products and services.



≈ 350 BC in De partibus animalium III, part1 Aristotle conjectured that nature does nothing in vain which, in return, alludes to nature does everything economical. Animate and inanimate nature are both image and result of evolution, its forms the diagrams of invisible forces as D’ Arcy Thompson concluded. In short, our nature based design experimentation unfolds historically: instead of mimicking forms in nature (homological approach), we may rather design like nature (procedural approach). Therefore, the romantic form-giving activity will eventually transmute into a form-finding strategy benefiting from the natural sciences. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Book/Report
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
machine design, industrial design, production, morphologies, multi-objective optimization, minimal surfaces, Lindenmayer system, Renaissance 2.0
pages
17 pages
publisher
Innovativ Kultur
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f93717b6-e3de-4760-b864-6f929c865473 (old id 3052163)
date added to LUP
2012-09-27 15:15:57
date last changed
2016-04-16 09:31:16
@misc{f93717b6-e3de-4760-b864-6f929c865473,
  abstract     = {The idea for nature based research design emerged in preparation of a workshop and subsequent exhibition regarding minimal surfaces, supervised by Andreas Hopf, Senior Lecturer at Lund University School of Industrial Design, and supported by Prof. Dr. Konrad Polthier (Chair Mathematical Geometry Processing, FU Berlin) at the DESIGNMAI digital crafts event in Berlin in 2007, for which Swedish design students from LTH explored a limited range of naturally occurring morphologies with respect to their aesthetic potential. Minimal surfaces are of particular interest in molecular engineering and architecture where they were studied and put to use by Frei Paul Otto or Félix Candela Outeriño already in the 50s and 60s to realise highly aesthetic and resilient thin-shell structures.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
It became apparent that, for various reasons, the field of natural-mathematical morphologies did not rank high on designers’ agendas – which seemed to be at odds with the respectable goal of sustainable product development many practitioners associate themselves with. Taken designers’ open-mindedness and inquisitiveness, a surprisingly limited set of deficitary symbols (leaf, tree, hexagon, the colours green and blue, etc.) continues to saturate the creative disciplines to a degree that one could be tempted to claim that nature’s vocabulary is already nearing exhaustion. In many cases, unfortunately, nature-inspired design serves as specious greenwashing ingredient in marketing strategies, bestowing a sustainable aura on actually very unsustainable products and services.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
≈ 350 BC in De partibus animalium III, part1 Aristotle conjectured that nature does nothing in vain which, in return, alludes to nature does everything economical. Animate and inanimate nature are both image and result of evolution, its forms the diagrams of invisible forces as D’ Arcy Thompson concluded. In short, our nature based design experimentation unfolds historically: instead of mimicking forms in nature (homological approach), we may rather design like nature (procedural approach). Therefore, the romantic form-giving activity will eventually transmute into a form-finding strategy benefiting from the natural sciences.},
  author       = {Hopf, Andreas and Nordin, Axel and Janhager, Jenny},
  keyword      = {machine design,industrial design,production,morphologies,multi-objective optimization,minimal surfaces,Lindenmayer system,Renaissance 2.0},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {17},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xb8fbc30)},
  title        = {Putting nature to work},
  year         = {2011},
}