Bionic City on Flipboard

By Melissa Sterry | Biomimetics, Biotechnology & Biology for the Built Environment

Artist uses billboards to make a pitch for nature

The goal, assuredly achieved, was “to provide a moment of temporary relief and unexpected beauty during the daily grind of commuting.”

The billboards …


Naturebytes Wildlife Cam Kit - Digital Making for Wildlife

This is it.

We're just about to approach a single hourly digit on the countdown clock, and with just under 13 hours left we're preparing to send …

Seeing triple

Compound eyes like those of insects may help drones find their way around

GIVING sight to robots is an important goal, but a tricky one. Most attempts …


Distorted 3D Seascapes Channel the Urbanized Sublime

Frozen Wave (The Conservation of Energy), 2015. Image: Marc Quinn Studio

British artist Marc Quinn explores our fraught and complex relationship with the natural world in his current exhibition, The Toxic Slime, at London's White Cube gallery. For the show, Quinn has created a series of sculptural …


exploring the invisible

Friday 7 August 2015
7-9pm | freebioluminescent bacteria are the most widely distributed light-emitting organisms on Earth. experienced up close, …


Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

For the first time, Spanish researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are …


The Magical Beauty Of Programmable Materials

Equal parts geometry and ballet, this video shows just how amazing programmable materials can be.

Ikea furniture that assembles itself when you add water. 3-D printed, self-lacing McFlys. Modular, single-piece robots that fold like proteins The design possibilities of programmable materials seem …

Performing Arts

10 more trees on your street could make you feel 7 years younger

Leafy, tree-lined streets aren't just good for property values; they may also be good for your health, according to a new report.

After analyzing two sets of data from the city of Toronto, researchers report that adding just 10 trees to a single city block could improve how healthy a person feels as …

Scientific Research

Secondhand Novels Are Carved into Extraordinary Mountainous Landscapes

Artist Guy Laramee has made a name for himself through his incredible ability to transform encyclopedias, dictionaries, and secondhand novels into extraordinary mountain landscapes. Drawing inspiration from places that he's visited, the artist carves away at printed materials that have been …


Grow a Tree with Your Own Heartbeat in ParisEiffel Tower COP 21 Art Project

1 Heart 1 Tree, a unique project that plans to beam virtual trees onto the Eiffel Tower during the UN climate change conference in Paris while …


Robot Swans Patrol Singapore’s Reservoirs, Hunting Pollution

If you're going to fill your water with robot sensors, why not make them fit in?

The NUSwan might sound like a bio-engineered creature from Blade Runner, but it has more in common with the Roomba that sweeps your home. The robot swans have been deployed by the National University of Singapore to …


Underwater Spiderwebs Inspired This Bizarre Building

Turns out the diving bell spider has a knack for avant garde architecture.

​Spider-based architecture is a long-standing tradition exactly nowhere, except maybe in nightmares. But this year's collaboration between the University of Stuttgart's Center for Computational Design and the school's …


These biodegradable computer chips are made from wood

What if I told you that we could make computer chips out of biodegradable wood, instead of the semiconducting materials like silicon that we …

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Can you prescribe nature?

"Here's your prescription, walk in the forest five times a week for an hour."

According to experts, it is not inconceivable that doctors will be …


Pecks and the city: how to be an urban birdwatcher

Urban environments might seem like a challenge for birdspotters. People wonder if there’s anything worth seeing, past a few pigeons and some foxes. The urban birder needs to open their mind to possibility, because in reality there aren’t that many differences between an urban environment and the …


This Origami-Based Pot Transforms And Grows With The Plant Over Time

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Get Extra Nature With This Mapping App That Guides You Down The Most Tree-Lined Route

Greenery makes you happier, and now you can change up your commute to get as much as possible.

People who live near parks and come across nature on a regular basis tend to be happier than people not exposed to those things, research shows. So it makes sense to consider the trees you'll encounter as …


MoMA | “If Not Museums, Then Where?” Adding Ancient Algorithms and New Biological Futures to MoMA’s Collection

Revital Cohen (Israeli, b. 1981), Tuur van Balen (Belgian, b. 1981). Still from Kingyo Kingdom. 2013. HD digital video, 19:23 min. Gift of the …


L.A.’s Back-Yard Entomologists

It started with a bet. In 2013, Brian Brown, the curator of entomology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, told one of the museum’s trustees that he could find a new species of insect practically anywhere he looked. Her cynical response was, “Can you find one in my back yard?” …


This free app helps you identify the plants and animals around you

Put a natural history encyclopedia in your pocket with the free (and ad-free) Lookup Life app.

The next time you say "I wonder what that plant is?" …


NOWlab creates 100% recyclable, biodegradable glacier table and stool

NOWlab creates 100% recyclable, biodegradable glacier table and stool

NOWlab creates 100% recyclable, biodegradable glacier table and stool
all images …

A New Kind Of Wildlife Sanctuary—For Bees

With endless flowers and ponds, the New York Bee Sanctuary wants to create a haven where endangered pollinator species can rejuvenate.

As bee populations continue to drop so alarmingly that pollinators now have their own White House Task Force, a nonprofit in upstate New York is pioneering a new …


Shiver House's shingles change shape to create a shelter

London studio NEON has built a structure with shingles that "shiver" and adapt in response to changing weather as part of a exhibition in Finland (+ …


building a geodesic dome just got a whole lot easier thanks to hubs

building a geodesic dome just got a whole lot easier thanks to hubs

building a geodesic dome just got a whole lot easier thanks to hubs
all images …


Student Develops An Ingenious Building Material That Shapeshifts In Response To Rain

Chao Chen, a product design student at RCA, created a water-reacting laminate that can open when it's sunny and close when it rains.

When Chao Chen had to conduct a materials study during his second term at the Royal College of Art, he found inspiration while walking through London's Hyde Park on a …


NYC’s Lowline to Turn Forgotten Trolley Tunnel into World’s First Underground Park

How do we add green space to our ever-growing cities? That’s one of the questions that the New York City Lowline is trying to answer, as the world's first underground park. Using solar technology, they want to transform a historic trolley terminal - untouched since 1948 - into a beautiful public …

New York City

Architect's future 'Vegetal Cities' merge nature with the man-made

With its broad strokes of thinking and long-term implementation, urban planning isn't the most exciting thing. But planning our cities in a more …

Sustainable Design

Material Matters: Materials inspired by nature | Design Resource Blog | Material Lab

10 June 2015

Material Matters: Materials inspired by nature

Here at Material Lab, we’re all about discovery and material innovation. And we love …