Have a Home for the Biomimetic City

Author: Pınar Altunsoy

Date: 20-26 April 2021

Target group: 11-14 years old

Duration of activity: 40’+ 40’+40’

Lesson 1

The word biomimicry consists of the Greek words bios, life and mimesis, to imitate. Based on this definition, it is possible to use nature as a mentor. Although biomimicry is used in many areas, it is also an applicable approach in cities. Instead of challenging nature, cities can be more livable places by building in harmony with nature. In this context, biomimetic cities come to the fore in quest of creating a sustainable life cycle with their structural efficiency, zero waste systems, smart water use, use of solar and renewable energy, bioclimatic comfort. In this activity, it is aimed to develop solutions (ecological houses) that are less harmful to nature, by taking the forms, processes and systems in nature as a guide, and to raise awareness that can meet today’s needs by realizing and imitating the systems in nature.

A pre-test on biomimicry will be applied to the students before the event. The questions in this test are given below.

1. What is biomimicry?

2. Can nature guide the principles of sustainable design? Can you give examples of these designs?

3. How do people use Nature’s designs to solve problems?

These questions will be applied to the students as a post test after the activity. With this application, the awareness of students about biomimicry will be evaluated.

Students are informed about biomimicry. For this the links below can be used.

https://asknature.org/

https://biomimicry.org/

https://biomimicry.net/

It is explained how nature informs us about the sustainable design. It is explained that “sustainable design” is a design that solves more than one problem at a time and minimizes the occurrence of new problems over time. A comparison is made between sustainable design solutions in nature and human design solutions. It is discussed which design poses the least risk to new problems.

Students are shown examples of designs made with biomimicry approach in different fields. In these examples, it is interpreted how the structural or biological strategy features of the form in nature are used. The first part of this activity is finished with the question of how sustainable cities can be designed.

Lesson 2

Students are asked to design a house for sustainable cities. In these houses, they are asked to research which form of nature to imitate can be solutions in terms of factors such as structural efficiency, zero waste systems, smart water use, renewable energy use, and bioclimatic comfort requirement. They are given time to identify their eco-houses by creating a mind map with the Mindmeister web 2 tool.

Lesson 3

In the last part of “Get a home for a biomimetic city” event, students will introduce their own eco-houses. They will make a presentation by explaining which nature form they are inspired by in the design of their houses through the mind map they prepared with the web 2 tool Mindmeister. After the presentations, a post-test will be applied to the students and the awareness created by the biomimicry approach in students will be determined.

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About Paltunsoy

I have been working as a biology teacher in gifted education training at Emine Emir Sahbaz Science and Art Center for 5 years. Totally I have 13-year-experience in teaching biology at different schools. I've had my master's degree in microbiology. I've been taking part in some projects as an instructor. Taking part in different projects motivates me like my colleagues.

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