The Role of Ecomimicry in Future Urban Settings

THE ECOTOPIA 2121 PROJECT PREDICTS AND PLANS FOR THE PROSPERITY OF FUTURE GREEN URBAN FORMS USING A VARIETY OF METHODS. ONE SUCH METHOD IS ECOMIMICRY, AS SHOWN BELOW.

Ecomimicry can be characterized in brief as the socially-responsible and ecofriendly form of 'bio-inspired design'. Ecomimicry involves mimicking local animals and plants (or their ecological settings) to produce sustainable, ecofriendly, socially-attuned designs, innovations, artworks and technologies. Here now we feature some examples of cities from Ecotopia 2121 that are forecast to use ecomimicry in their settings.

MINSK 2121

Minsk 2121 envisions a furry roof (which mimics the fur of the local European Brown Bear) to insulate buildings from the city's bitter winters.

Minsk 2121 by A. Marshall

Minsk 2121 by A. Marshall

GREENVILLE 2121

The 'Sunflower Homes' of Greenville 2121 are shaped as they are through appreciation of the botanical phenomenon if heliotropism; the sun-tracking behavior of various types of plants. This behavior allows plants to maximize their collection of solar rays as they turn the faces of their leaves and flowers to slowly follow the sun in its daily journey across the sky. The most famous of the heliotropic plants are the sunflowers. If you can draw the path of a sunflower bloom as it moves across a plane to follow the sun, then fashion that shape into a 3D building, you end up with the shape of the 'Sunflower Home'.

Greenville 2121 by A. Marshall

Greenville 2121 by A. Marshall

SAN DIEGO 2121

This submarine suburb of San Diego 2121 is an adaptation to global sea level rise and coastal erosion. The oceanic architecture mimics the California kelp forests in arrangement and the abalone shell in structure in order to handle the dynamic forces of the sea.

San Diego 2121

San Diego 2121 by A. Marshall

Ecomimicry is similar to biomimicry but much more intent on the 'social' and the 'ecological' ramifications of design. Whereas biomimicry may not involve eco-friendly technological design, and is invented and regulated by experts without much democratic input, “ecomimicry,” aims to operate to be:

  • Inherently sustainable from an environmental and social point of view

  • Encouraging of decentralization and localism

  • Democratic when it comes to decision-making

  • Understood by all, not just by the experts

  • Sensitive to the need to fairly disperse power rather than to concentrate it.


FURTHER READING

(More information about ecomimicry can be found at the following places):

Dr. Alan Marshall's 2009 book Wild Design -- about 'The Ecomimicry Project'.

Dr. Alan Marshall's 2006 paper about The Theory and Practice of Ecomimicry from Curtin University's 'Sustaining Gondwana' series.

Dr. Alan Marshall's lecture presentation on biomimicry and ecomimicry at Masaryk University.

Dr. Alan Marshall's entry on biomimicry and ecomimicry in the Encyclopedia of CSR

Dr. Alan Marshall's 2009 paper on Questioning Biomimicry from WIT Press.

Dr. Alan Marshall interviewed about ecomimicry on ABC Radio


Dr. Alan Marshall's 2006 'Manifesto' on Ecomimicry is referenced in this article about urban ecomimicry published in The Conversation.


An introduction to Dr. Alan Marshall's 'Ecomimicry Course' can be found in this blogpost here.



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