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Nature is often an influencer in the world of architecture. Known as biomimicry, humankind has studied nature for inspiration in solving all kinds of problems, not just architectural or building. Leonardo da Vinci studied birds in his quest to create a flying machine that eventually inspired the Wright Brothers. The following are some wonderful examples of how observing function in the natural world has led to advances in architectural products.
BLANCO SILGRANIT Sinks
BLANCO SILGRANIT is a proprietary granite composite sink material that has the enviable feature found in many plant leaves and insect wings. It’s hydrophobic. This means that the sink repels water and is engineered to channel the water towards the drain where it carries off dirt and debris. Not all sinks have this feature. If you pour water in a SILGRANIT sink, you can actually see it bead up and dry before your eyes. In a stainless steel sink, for instance, the water drains out but leaves water droplets. In a SILGRANIT sink, its hydrophobic nature carries much of the water away to prevent stains and keeps the sink cleaner and more hygienic – much the way butterfly wings dry themselves after a storm.
CERACASA, a Tile of Spain manufacturer, offers a ceramic tile that cleans the air by breaking down pollutants. BIONICTILE® mimics the design of the leaves of trees with the same micro-textures that help to clean the air. The tiles are treated with a titanium dioxide glaze that breaks down nitrous oxide in the presence of sunlight and humidity through a photocatalytic process. http://www.ceracasa.com/
Miele Honeycomb Drum – Laundry Systems
Miele worked with German scientists on a bee-inspired honeycomb pattern for its laundry systems—both washers and dryers. Originally, the theory was to add stability for high spin speeds, but the honeycomb pattern delivered more environmental benefits by being gentler to clothing in both the wash and dry cycles. The web-like surface structure of the Miele Honeycomb Drum creates a thin film of water between the drum and the laundry. This results in laundry gliding gently and protects the fibers. http://www.mieleusa.com/
To learn more about biomimicry and what we can learn from nature, visit https://biomimicry.org/