Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Architecture

Major Professor

Steven Arthur Cooke, M. Arch

Co-Major Professor

Theodore Trent Green, M. Arch

Committee Member

Mark Weston, M. Arch

Keywords

Biomimicry, Architecture, Sustainability, Technology, Museum, New York City

Abstract

If architects are to create a sustainable world, one in which we are accountable to the needs of all future generations and living creatures, we must recognize that our present form of designing buildings is deeply flawed. Being the number one cause of emission gases, building design needs to be revolutionized to be able to surpass such climatic changes and finally harmonize with nature. To create a sustainable future and solve the global warming crisis, architects need to incorporate nature within design through the process known as biomimicry. Janine Benyus, the author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, stressed how nature teaches to solve human problems. After billions of years of research and development within nature, Benyus believes that nature has perfected itself and has the key to human survival. Through biomimicry, architects can find solutions to design problems and apply them to sustainable design.

Sustainable design has not reached its peak in uniting both aesthetics and performance within the design industry. Until now, architecture focuses more on human needs and economics, putting aside what is best for the environment thus leaving a conflict between human and nature. This thesis presents an investigation into biomimicry and its architectural applications. It is inspired by organisms within nature. The final design project will be based on the studies of organisms and how these can be incorporated on a building's entire design program including skin, structure, journey and circulation. From these studies , I will synthesize the important components and ideas of these organisms and interpret them into the building's design. The building typology chosen for this project is the museum typology which function as a living organism. The project will be site specific thus designing a museum that adapts to the site's specific surroundings.

The goal for this thesis is to discover organisms within nature that can be incorporated and reinterpreted into sustainable architecture. It is also crucial to discover and study the complex systems within nature so that architects can incorporate ideas from it to improve architecture design.

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