Architecture Book Review Building Sustainably

Biomimicry and Slow Building

I am involved in an Environmental Book Club at Oglebay’s Schrader Center.

I have read many new books thanks to this club, and every Third Thursday presents a discussion with wiser environmentalists than me. Many of these books are written in a cohesive long arrangement of definitions. No plots or climax, but critically arranged facts from beginning to end. Like portions titled Eco-Inventions from Janine Benyus’s book Biomimicry.

Here are a few of my favorite thoughts.

The biomimicry revolution introduces an era based not on what we can extract from nature but on what we can learn from her. Pg 2

The cost of money, the price of my time and why the bottom thread of my new winter coat falls off.

From being taught a ‘human centered approach’ in forestry management Benyus began to look to organisms and ecosystems for their ‘cooperative relationships, self-regulating feedback cycles and dense interconnectedness.’ Pg 3

‘Adapting to earth (as a new reality), the changes we make now no mater how incremental they seem, may be the nucleus for this new reality.’ Pg 5

The cannon of nature’s laws

Nature runs on sunlight

Nature uses only the energy it needs

Nature fits form to function

Nature recycles everything

Nature rewards cooperation

Nature banks on diversity

Nature demands local expertise

Nature curbs excesses from within

Nature taps the power of limits (which means maintain a balance) Pg 7

‘Because nature spins her spell in such a small space, her creations read like a poem that says only what it means.’

30,000 land tailored variations of rice – farming that mimicked industry, not nature. Pg 17

Her ideas on polyculture in the prairies. What about the idea of a polyculture at home in our own garden. Plants that feed, nourish and sustain the winter without our work. Pg 30

If you had a place to pull down the sun, the ASU campus in Tempe would be the place. Pg 63

Nature wants a balance – entropy – like ink dispersing in H20, it wants everything to have equal parts. Pg 67

What is Hydrogen gas?

Molecules into membranes Pg 82

Chemical graffiti

Garden-type sunshine

Purple bacterium reaction center photo

200 billion output increase every two years… why we are faster in the untactile world? Pg 241

Take back laws or ‘asset recovery’ as Xerox puts it. Pg 256

We are using the ancient sun. Pg 261

When she talks about using the condensed matter that didn’t have oxygen to decompose properly? Is the earth getting larger in diameter, or how  is this upcycle working from the exterior to center of our earth core?

Closed Loop

A community designed system to use a better as a whole, water, better land, air water, build, shelter feed.

Things I’ve started thinking about since our book club began:

World population

I am my own responsibility, I must live with what I do and try not to push it on somewhere else.

Low Impact Man / Family

Hollow under-layer shifts

We fall into perfectly round holes

Circular sink holes

Whole cities swallowed down the serpents throat. Hollowed from within, termites practicing their limits.

Pouring the unused black remains of dinosaurs

Aloe plants and grub worms into our copper lines.

Instead of quickly building Architecture, perhaps time in concept-to-foundation-to-finish should take us longer, so we are taking more controlled and thoughtful steps in the process. Perhaps I should invest my time in Slow Building.

3 replies on “Biomimicry and Slow Building”

If we use a personal pronoun to describe a creation from which we may learn, can we go deeper to know her creator who has infinitely more to teach us? Biomimicry is certainly a step in the right direction; and one good step deserves another. Modernism has been irrationally blind for so long; and perhaps we are not able to open our eyes all the way.
Someone needs to do it for us.
But who?

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