Koichi Takada Architects - Sydney

Biomimicry could lead to cities that “deliver net benefits”


8 February 2021

by Marcus Fairs


Cities could help stop climate change by imitating natural processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to architect Michael Pawlyn.

Buildings could be constructed from materials containing atmospheric carbon that can be recycled at the end of their lifetime, Pawlyn said.

New types of carbon-rich concrete and bioplastics could lock up large amounts of the element, he suggested.

“We need to find ways of using materials that take carbon out of the atmosphere,” he told Dezeen. “Can we learn from biology to design a built environment that has a net positive impact?”

Pawlyn, founder of London studio Exploration Architecture, is a proponent of biomimicry, a discipline that looks to nature to find solutions to human needs.

“Biomimicry involves a complete rethinking of the type of materials we use and the way we put them together,” he said.

Architects and scientists should collaborate to develop materials that mimic natural climate-regulating systems on earth, said Pawlyn, who is one of the originators of the Architects Declare climate action group.

“That gives us a real chance to reintegrate what we do into biological systems and end up with buildings and cities that are zero waste, use far less material, emit no pollution and deliver net benefits,” he added.

“We can get to a point where architecture is actually producing a positive impact.”

For the completed article, please visit Dezeen.