Biomimicry in Interior Design

Author: Nawaal Adamjee

Throughout my life I have lived in various countries, all uniquely attuned to their own culture and heritage. Being immersed in such a diverse background from a young age exposed me to endless design possibilities. I discovered a commonality amongst nature that intrigued me, I could always rely upon nature to be abundant with opportunities for inspiration. From textures, to forms and even negative spacing, my mind began to wonder, and I found bursts of creativity were inevitable…

The natural world plays a pivotal role in influencing my design development, ideas and thought pattern. Nature is a tried and tested form of functionality. Exposed to the harsh realities of mother nature, we as designers can rely on the fact that raw materials have been tried and tested by the world around us, providing us with an informative guide on how it aesthetically weathers, or how the form and functionality perform over time.

Seeking functionality in nature, to me, represents biomimicry. The design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modelled on biological entities and processes.

Personally, when I start a project, I delve into the existing natural habitat surrounding the site. I discover what types of biodiversity and creatures (big and small!) depend upon the local wildlife for refuge. I learn how the local community relies on the local agriculture for sustenance.

One of my most recent projects was inspired by the organic shapes and structural details to be found within the wing of a dragonfly. Using that form, I then developed a creative screen design which was structured to mimic the intricate, delicate nature of the insect’s wings.

There are endless products and designs instilled within our everyday lives, many of these incorporate features that have been designed to mimic nature. The biggest, possibly most successful  example? The airplane…

The Wright brothers successfully modelled their first functioning aircraft following intensive studies of bird species. Looking deeply into their wingspan and streamlined aerodynamic qualities, they were able to come up with a shape that mimicked these aerodynamic qualities, enabling millions of people to fly across the world every day. It is hard to imagine a world without this invention, but without nature to inspire design, would the Wright brothers have even known where to start?

Interior Designers are constantly being approached by suppliers and brands that claim to have the best eco-credentials, at Morpheus we are incredibly passionate about sustainability. Recently, I came across a new interior product that really captured my imagination…

This profoundly interesting product has been invented to mimic natural rock filtration systems. By establishing a specialist tile with algae filled ridges, the tiles are ablet to filter the water that passes through. The tiles can be used in wet spaces or as water features, providing not just a beautiful aesthetic, but a successfully functioning approach also.

The interior design industry needs more revolutionary products, like the aforementioned. Sustainable design, without compromise on the quality of form and function – that is precisely what we as designers crave, and what the planet needs.

Biomimicry establishes the narrative that, for Designers, the answers we are looking for can be found already out there, we must simply look out, in and amongst nature…