If in doubt mind map! that was my motto going through university, and in particular when writing my master’s thesis on ‘biomimicry in architecture’ a deceptively broad topic that ended up producing a 12,400 word monster of a paper. This piece of butterpaper you see here with my scribblings all over it was in fact a somewhat refined visualisation of what I wanted to research earlier on in my process. “What a fascinating mess” is what I interpreted my supervisors response to it to mean (the word fascinating may or may not have been used by her) but fascinating it all was to me, and still is, this interconnected web of architecture, nature and the critical need for global sustainability and ecosystem regeneration which has created the possibility for a new species of built environment that behaves like the natural environment.
The title of my thesis ended up being “Evaluating the Biomimicry Design Spiral as a tool for complex problem solving in Ecological Architecture”, a chunky mouthful which awkwardly covers the main topics I wrote about- Biomimicry, the Biomimicry design spiral as developed by the Biomimicry institute, complexity in design, complex problem solving tools, ecological architecture, the historical relationship between humans and the natural environment and the current environmental sustainability crisis. All of these things, as well as some of the others on that mind map that couldn’t be jammed sideways into my thesis, I would like to cover in more bite sized pieces in this blog. My aim is to keep my personal knowledge fresh, current and organised, but also to share what I have found and hopefully spark some discussion on the topic.