One of the more exciting intersections out there come from what people are doing at the intersection of human design and nature design. For instance in The Medici Effect I talk about how an architect saw a connection between how termites cool their tall mounds (located on the African savannah) and energy-efficient buildings. He applied their methodologies to the largest real estate complex in Zimbabwe to generate an incredibly low-energy cooling system. Amazing, really.
These intersections are grouped under something called “biomimicry” and there are countless examples of this. I will return to the area with some frequency at Stories. Consider for instance the beautiful shimmering iridescent colors of a butterfly wing or a peacock feather. It can really be an amazing display. How are such colors created? There is no pigment involved, as is the case for most colors in nature (and in human design). Instead they utilize microscopic structures in their wings that causes the light to interfere with itself. Neat idea. If someone, a company say, could use that technology they could create a color that never fades when exposed to light.
Actually someone is using the butterfly method to do it. The company Iridigm have developed something they call the Interferometric Modulator (iMoD). Since the color contain no pigment color it is inherently stable and cannot fade when exposed to light. They use the same technology as butterflies to create displays for PDAs, pagers, gaming devices, tablet PCs. In their words... “The ultra-low-power iMoD-based displays offer viewing capabilities similar to printed paper—delivering the superior resolution and performance needed to support text, graphics, video and gaming content, all under a variety of lighting conditions and angles.”
Check them out at http://www.iridigm.com/ :
I am looking for other exciting examples of biomimicry out there. There are an incredible number of intersections between human and nature design, and they don’t have to be just technological. Art, computer search algorithms, food, and more - everything is fair game. If you know of any examples, or even better, if you are working on a team at such an exciting intersection feel please drop me an email.