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

Bayocean: the American city that disappeared because man ignored nature

Every western ghost town is an object lesson. Oregon, with more ghost towns than any other state, has a full curriculum. In the places that emptied out when the railways lost out to highways, we can see how capital and technology, then as now, destroy homes and livelihoods as relentlessly as they …

Travel (UK)

3D-Printed Nests Bring Birds Back Into Cities

A team of architects and designers have come together to explore how 3D printing technology can help our flying friends. Printednest aims to bring birds back into cities with its 3D-printed bird feeders. As 3D Print states, "Designed to adhere to the smooth, exterior surfaces of urban structures …


Foster's Crossrail Place roof garden to open at Canary Wharf

Tropical roof gardens and a leisure complex designed by Foster + Partners to sit above its new Crossrail station at Canary Wharf in London will open …

Canary Wharf

Secret Garden

Olson Kundig Architects worked closely with the design from Shinsegae and international artist Do Ho Suh to create a 20,000 square foot secret garden for children and families. Located on the rooftop of a shopping center, this lush garden is an oasis of trees, plants and flowers comprised …

Secret Garden

Philly's Vacant Lots Will Be Vacant No More Once They're Filled With Mini-Forests

The trees will later be transplanted throughout the city, helping to double its canopy cover.

Stand on certain streets in Philadelphia, and you'll see a single dilapidated row house surrounded by nothing but empty space and weeds. Detroit might be better known for its urban blight, but Philly has …


Movie: ecoLogicStudio's Urban Algae Canopy

EcoLogicStudio transforms cladding system
into a bioreactor with Urban Algae Canopy

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: in this movie Marco Poletto of …


Weather Sensible Structure

Weather [T&RH]
Sensible Structures
Hypertectonic Systems: Experimental Design on Bio Inspired Smart Systems

In tropical climate places where …


Leaking Light

Inspired by the natural beauty of crepuscular parallel rays of sunlight that stream through gaps in the clouds, the Leaky lighting project aims to …


Why New York is to switch off lights for migrating birds

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state of New York is to turn off non-essential lights in state-run buildings.

But rather than this being an energy saving measure - instead, it is to help migrating birds navigate routes in spring and autumn.

Ornithologists say that birds become …


Birds Take Center Stage in Nature’s "Animal Homes"

When birds get to homemaking, no mere collection of twigs will do. Each species, in fact, has highly particular needs and tastes. For some, home is a …


Falcon With GPS Could Save Birds From Wind Turbines

Escaping death, thanks to a bird named Houdini

Falcons are perfected aerial machines, evolved over millennia to be very, very good at being falcons. Unfortunately, upstart Homo sapiens have put a few obstacles in the path of these raptors, like intruding quadcopters or deadly wind turbines. What’s …

Wind Power

How to Stop 1 Billion Birds From Flying Into Windows and Buildings

A billion birds a year are accidentally flying into windows and buildings. The problem is particularly bad in the spring and fall, when birds are …

Behold MIT's Amazing Self-Assembling Table

It packs flat, snaps into place with a touch, and could signal a big shift toward the home decor of the future

The MIT Self Assembly Lab is the place where the furniture of the future becomes real. Its newest project, a self-assembling table, is built of simply wood and tensile fabric, which folds …


Glass sponges hold internal secrets to structural strength

Scientists often look to biology for inspiration and innovation, emulating the way that nature builds to advance human engineering. Creatures of the …

Life Sciences

Tiny ‘forest’ advances artificial photosynthesis

Scientists have developed an system that can capture carbon dioxide emissions before they go into the atmosphere. Then, powered by solar energy, the …


Famous Dutch Owl Loves to Land on the Head of Local Residents

A peculiar Dutch owl has helped the small town of Noordeinde to achieve a considerable amount of fame. When the 6lb. European Eagle Owl started landing on people's heads, residents were extremely confused. Many even thought that the owl had escaped from a nearby aviary.

After photographer Menno …


Celestial Animals Woven from Thread Illuminate Entire Rooms

Celestial animals come to life in this luminescent, sculptural installation by French artist Julien Salaud. Part of his Stellar Cave series, each expansive work of art is made of cotton thread that is coated in ultraviolet paint, woven into the shapes of stunning creatures, and held down with …


Earth Day Inspiration: Prefab Pavilion Celebrates Nature in the Heart of Chicago

Completed in 2010, the Nature Boardwalk designed by Studio Gang Architects introduced a pavilion and boardwalk to a pond site at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. It also recast the area as a thriving ecosystem in the middle of the city.

Watch the video below to hear Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang …


Sou Fujimoto plans flora for Université Paris-Saclay building

A team led by Japanese studio Sou Fujimoto Architects has unveiled images of its competition-winning proposal for a Paris university building filled …



Beatboxing birdsongs of New York

I love beatboxing, but as an ornithologist and birder, I am absolutely delighted by this amazing experiment that a fellow New Yorker, Ben Mirin, is working on: he is using birdsong produced by birds that can be found in New York state as the inspiration for his beatboxing.

Mr Mirin is a professional …

New York

Could bacteria-grown materials be the future of building?

The Cones are produced through a hands-on process of growing a specific kind of bacteria over the course of three weeks. Within this period, each …


NJIT Graduates Create A Biodegradable Pavilion For Sukkahville 2014

Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez

Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez

The Sukkah after a rain shower. Image Courtesy of Michael …


Ball-Nogues Compostable “Pulp Pavilion” Brings Shade to Coachella

To demonstrate the structural potential of “pulp,” Ball-Nogues Studio built an experimental reclaimed paper pavilion this year at Coachella. The …


Artist Interview: Aki Inomata: Discussing nature, cultural appropriation and ornamentation with the artist famous for her hermit crab series

Born in Tokyo, artist Aki Inomata has been exhibiting her work since 2004. She received an MFA in Intermedia Art from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2008 and is a recipient of the 2014 YouFab Global Creative Awards Grand Prize.

Over the last couple years, her "Why Not Hand Over a 'Shelter' to …

Hermit Crab

Fibrous Pneumaticity

cambridge MASSACHUSETTSHarvard GSD
critic: Achim MENGES.suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.Erin CUEVAS, Mike JOHNSON, & Jana MASSET: The use of carbon …

Olafur Eliasson

This Robotic Hand Is Inspired By A Chameleon’s Tongue

The FlexShapeGripper is like your very own chameleon tongue, except it can pick up much more than insects.

For creatures without opposable thumbs, chameleons are exceptionally good at reaching out and grabbing things. That's thanks to their very special tongues. At one and a half times a chameleon's …


Beautiful Winged Insects Made of Discarded Circuit Boards

Portsmouth, UK-based artist Julie Alice Chappell creates beautiful miniature sculptures of insects using circuit boards found inside discarded electronics. "My art practice involves breaking down the pre-existing materials, reinterpreting them and offering them a new form with new purpose, creating …