Michael Pawlyn On Our Urgent Need for Biomimetic Design

The upcoming release of Michael Pawlyn’s book "Flourish: Design Paradigms for Our Planetary Emergency", co-authored with Sarah Ichioka, is an invitation from the innovative designer to imagine the future of the world if we incorporate biomimetic design.

Michael Pawlyn

In our constantly changing societies, are we capable of adopting more regenerative and cooperative design practices and habits for a better future? 

Michael Pawlyn hopes so, and in his latest co-authored work, Flourish: Design Paradigms for Our Planetary Emergency he offers essential solutions for pioneering architecture in regenerative design.

Photo Credit © Triarchy Press

Flourish, The Book By Michael Pawlyn & Sarah Ichioka

In a time of shifting mindsets and constant change, Flourish pushes its reader to think critically and creatively about the future of the world. With the novel on the cusp of being released (Summer 2021), authors Sarah Ichioka and Michael Pawlyn are keen to share their acquired natural and cultural wisdom by proposing regenerative design principles and a set of six paradigm shifts for designers, policymakers, environmentalists, activists, and changemakers to construct and design with planetary health in mind. As expressed in the novel: “We see most hope for the future in collaboration and collective action, more than competition and individualism. This perspective encourages us to reclaim scope for agency well beyond the consumer activism of homo economicus.” 

Michael Pawlyn and Exploration Architecture

After ten years of working at Grimshaw on The Eden Project radically re-inventing horticultural architecture, Pawlyn established Exploration Architecture in 2007, a collective that goes beyond the conventional sustainable discourse and hones in on empathetic interconnected solutions between how nature works and how we as humans fit in the picture without harming the environment. By setting the bar in biomimetic design, their work has been widely published in media outlets such as Wired, Dezeen, The Guardian, and National Geographic. 

Exploration Architecture is fuelled by the vast number of environmental challenges of today. These challenges push the organization to find ways to restore ecosystems, build resilient inclusive communities, and generate cleaner energy. They do so by drawing on two nature-inspired approaches: biomimicry and biophilia. 

Biomimicry is a rapidly growing discipline that learns from biological processes and uses this information to develop solutions suited to human needs. Biomimicry provides many solutions needed for a circular economy. Biophilia is based on humans’ innate desire and necessity to be in tune with nature.

Explore Further

Published by Triarchy Press, register here to find out where you can access Michael Pawlyn and Sarah Ichioka’s book, or explore the website:

View our first collaboration with Exploration Architecture in the documentary film and educational exploration: The Garden of Secrets. In the film Pawlyn explains biomimicry and innovative design techniques.

To dive right into why designers need biomimicry, The Eden Project, and how these strategies are cost-effective, watch the following excerpts from the film: