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Michael Pawlyn was one of the lead architects behind the Eden Project in Cornwall. Treating nature as a blueprint, he believes there are huge gains to be made by learning from how the natural world works. In presentations he explains how restorative design, that mimics natural eco-systems and borrows from 3.6 billion years of R&D, makes it possible for manufacturers and retailers to achieve zero waste solutions.
For every problem we face, from generating energy to manufacturing materials, there are examples from nature to give us inspiration. Importantly, these solutions are often more profitable than traditional approaches, as well as radically reducing the impact on the environment.
At TED Salon London, November 2011, Michael Pawlyn became one of the small number of architects to have a talk posted to TED. His presentation, in which he describes how biomimicry could help transform architecture and society, has been viewed over 1.5 million times.
Michael’s work includes a carbon neutral method for regenerating waste, and the revolutionary Sahara Forest Project that mimics the Namibian fog-basking beetle’s ability to create its own fresh water. The scheme has the potential to reverse the process of desertification in the Sahara and other desert regions as well as generating large amounts of renewable solar energy.
As well as advances in architecture, design, engineering and materials, Michael takes a broader look at innovation and the future. Given the fundamental importance of everything from office design to manufacturing technologies to transport for any business, Michael also considers the changes specific industries might face.
Michael Pawlyn represented Grimshaw as a Founder Member of the UK Green Building Council and is a member of The Edge, the environmental think tank. He founded his own architectural practice, Exploration Architecture in 2007, that specialises in sustainable, and zero-waste biomimicry projects. His book Biomimicry in Architecture is the RIBA’s most popular publication.
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