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Savannah

Food Stalk

Copyright 2015

All images have been created by the authors of this


process book unless otherwise noted.

Design Team

JyNee Bryan
Leah Carey
Shuai Chen
Jyh Chen
Chelsea Jackson Grace
David Londono
Malaysia Marshall
Kathleen Moser
Isaac Toonkel
Alexandra Vasquez Dheming

Advisors

Regina Rowland
Cathy Sakas

Introduction
This process book displays the project that ten
students, a professor, and a scientist worked on over
a ten week semester at the Savannah College of
Art and Design. It represents the work, research, and
conceptual development of a system meant to
combat food deserts in urban environments.
The book is divided into sections based on the
Biomimicry Thinking Design Process. Each section
covers a particular phase in this design process: the
scoping phase, the discovering phase, the creating
phase and the evaluating phase. Each phase tells a
piece of the design teams story; learning from nature
through direct observation, excursions, sites of interest,
deriving relevant design principles from the functions
of various organisms, developing a prototype system
to address the design challenge, and evaluating the
solutions adherence to Lifes Principles.

Introduction to Biomimicry
Biomimicry is the conscious emulation of natures genius. It is
an interdisciplinary approach that brings together two often
disconnected worlds: nature and technology, biology and innovation,
life and design. The practice of biomimicry seeks to bring the timetested wisdom of life to the design table to inform human solutions that
create conditions conducive to life. At its most practical, biomimicry
is a way of seeking sustainable solutions by borrowing lifes blueprints,
chemical recipes, and ecosystem strategies. At its most transformative,
biomimicry connects us in ways that fit, align, and integrate the human
species into the natural processes of Earth (Baumeister, 2013).

Figure1: Biomimicry Mantra. Figure 2: The Three essential elements of


Biomimicry, left to right: Biomimicry3.8 DesignLens Collateral Toolkit.
2014 Biomimicry Group, Inc. Biomimicry 3.8. Biomimicry Group is a
certified B-Corporation. Retrieved from: http://biomimicry.net/about/
biomimicry/biomimicry-designlens/

Essential Elements: Biomimicry Framework


The practice of biomimicry embodies three interconnected,
but unique ingredients; the three Essential Elements of Biomimicry
represent the foundation of the biomimicry meme. By combing the
essential elements together, bio-inspired design becomes biomimicry
(Baumeister, 2013).

The ethos element forms the essence of our ethics, our intentions, and our underlying
philosophy for why we practice biomimicry. Ethos represents our respect for responsibility
to and gratitude for our fellow species and our home.
The emulate element brings the principles, patterns, strategies, and functions found in
nature to inform design. Emulation is about being proactive in achieving the vision of
humans fitting in sustainability on earth.
The (re)connect element enables the void between humans and nature to be bridged
to establish a relationship where lessons can be drawn from (Baumeister, 2013).

Biomimicry Thinking
Biomimicry Thinking provides context to where, how, what, and why
biomimicry fits into the process of any discipline or any scale of design.
While akin to a methodology, Biomimicry Thinking is a framework
that is intended to help people practice biomimicry while designing
anything. These are four areas in which a biomimicry lens provides the
greatest value to the design process (independent of the discipline to
which it is integrated): scoping, discovering, creating, and evaluating.
Following the specific steps within each phase helps ensure the
successful integration of lifes strategies into human designs
(Baumeister, 2013).

Figure 3: The Biomimicry Thinking Design Process Biomimicry3.8


DesignLens Collateral Toolkit. 2014 Biomimicry Group, Inc. dba
Biomimicry 3.8. Biomimicry Group is a certified B-Corporation. Retrieved
from: http://biomimicry.net/about/biomimicry/biomimicry-designlens/

Figure 4: Biomimicry Life Principles, left to right: Biomimicry3.8


DesignLens Collateral Toolkit. 2014 Biomimicry Group, Inc. dba
Biomimicry 3.8. Biomimicry Group is a certified B-Corporation. Retrieved
from: http://biomimicry.net/about/biomimicry/biomimicry-designlens

Advisors

Regina Rowland, Ph.D.


Professor of Design Management
Certified Biomimicry Specialist
In my spare time I enjoy exploring
nature and reflecting on my
experience through creative
expression.

Figures 5-6: Biomimicry Advisors: Regina


Rowland, Ph.D. and Cathy J. Sakas.
Authors Image.

Cathy J. Sakas
MSC Professional Interpretive
Naturalist & Documentary Producer
Scientist at the Design Table
I like to do most any outdoor
activity. Mostly I paddle my canoe
or my river or sea kayaks through
saltwater tidal marsh creeks
and in freshwater creeks, rivers
and swamps. I enjoy sharing my
knowledge of natural history and
minimal impact camping skills by
leading wilderness educational
trips into remote areas along
Georgias beautiful coast, into the
Okefenokee Swamp and through
the Everglades.

Graduate Students

David Londono Brinez


Industrial Design
Design for Sustainability

Shuai Chen
Industrial Design
Interaction Design

I hold a Bachelors Degree in


Industrial Design and a Masters
degree in Sustainable design. I
have worked in multiple industries
and currently own two companies
designing and developing projects.
I also consult and offer technical
development services for small and
mid-size companies. I have devoted
over 6 years to social innovation,
sustainable design practices,
planning, and will continue to do so.

I lived in China for twenty-four years


and have been studying Industrial
Design as a graduate student in
America for 2 years. Having a mix
of a mechanical mind and an
emotional perception, Im always
seeking opportunities to solve
problems coming from both a
mechanical and an ethic point of
view. I have passion for technology
and creation, and love combining
my knowledge of interactive design
and industrial design. Right now I am
focusing on wearable devices and
3D printing. I hope to start a business
based on these interests.

Figures 7-8: Team Members:


Graduate Students. Authors
Image.

Undergraduate Students

Alexandra Vasquez
Production Design
Design for Sustainability
Dance
Im a Salvadoran dancer on her final
year of a Production Design BFA.
Im a curiosity-driven Lighting and
Projections designer who
cant turn down an interesting
project. Thus, I spend most of my
free time collaborating on films, live
performances, and installations.
I enjoy reading when I should be
working, writing illegibly in pretty
notebooks, and cooking with
unfamiliar spices. UItimately, I aspire
to be a Broadway designer who no
longer feels guilty about doing what
she loves. I will accomplish this by
working to make theatre sustainable.

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Leah Carey
Architecture
Design for Sustainability
I am a senior Architecture student, with
a minor in Design for Sustainability. In
my free time, I enjoy graphic design,
literature, traveling, photography, and
spending time in nature.

Figures 9-10: Team Members:


Undergraduate Students. Authors Image.

Malaysia Marshall
Interior Design
Design for Sustainability

Jyh Miin Chen


Industrial Design
Design for Sustainability

With interests in design, community


involvement, sustainability, and art,
I aspire to combine these various
aspects into a lucrative career
that directly addresses design
challenges. In my free time, I write,
paint, and volunteer with the local
Boys & Girls Club.

I have great passion for traveling,


which I do in almost all of my free time.
Give me a free weekend and
I will not be in Savannah, but trying to
discover parts of the world I havent
yet stepped foot in. I enjoy cultures that
are different than my own. Learning
about other countries excites me
because I also adore cooking. I love to
learn, and try to cook food that I have
tasted in my travels to bring back the
beautiful memories of the times I have
spent abroad.

Figures 11-12: Team Members:


Undergraduate Students.Authors Image.

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Kathleen Moser
Interior Design
Design for Sustainability
When I am not learning in school
or working in a coffee shop, I enjoy
cooking with my family and friends,
reading literature, writing down
stories I pick up during the day, and
learning how to play the guitar.
I can usually be found in a coffee
shop drinking too much coffee and
talking to strangers. I believe strongly
in social sustainablity and want to
make good, sustainable design
accessible to everyone.

Figures 13-14: Team Members:


Undergraduate Students.Authors Image.

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Jynee Bryan
Architecture
Archiectural History and Design for
Sustainability
I began studying architecture after
having the opportunity to sit with
the designer who built the home
my family currently lives in. Through
studying Architectural History and
Design for Sustainability I have
gained interest in Urban Design
and want to now pursue higher
education in the development of
sustainable communities.

Chelsea Jackson-Greene
Interior Design
Architectural History and Design for
Sustainability
Ive worked in the service industry
since I was 16 and my work
experience inspires my designs.
I hope my experience will lead me
to work in sustainable Retail and
Hospitality Design. When Im not
working I enjoy practicing yoga and
making mixed media collages.

Isaac Toonkel
Industrial Design
I love to create. You can usually
find me in a wood shop combining
traditional materials and techniques
to build high quality products ranging
from kitchen cutlery to furniture.
I also love camping, hiking, and
being outdoors.

Figures 15-16: Team Members:


Undergraduate Students. Authors Image.

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Figure: 17: Building in Savannah,


Authors Image

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SCOPING
In the scoping phase the team identified
the design challenge and analyzed its
context. Once a challenge was chosen
and its criteria understood, a desired
outcome was defined in the form of a
function.

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Framing
After doing individual research,
the team came together and
categorized the researched
facts on a white board into
six categories: regional food
challenges, global food
challenges, education, waste,
human health, and climate
change. The team found that
the topics were all related in
a complex network of cause
and effect. Inspired by the city
of Savannah, the team looked
for a local challenge where
issues of access to healthy food
options, awareness and climate
change were at play and found
Savannah is, in fact, a food
desert.

Figure 18: Team members


categorizing early secondary
research. Authors Image.

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Problem Description
The US Department of Agriculture
defines a food desert as an
urban neighborhood or rural
town without ready access to
fresh, healthy, and affordable
food. Food deserts are a growing
national concern. The local
Savannah area is one such
food desert. Two of the most
dire problems are access and
affordability, especially for lower
income households. In a Gallup
survey conducted by the Food
Research and Action Center,
studies found that affordability
of and access to fresh fruits
and vegetables were greater
challenges for households with
lower incomes. Furthermore, one
in ten people, in 95 congressional
districts, reported that it was not
easy to get affordable fresh fruits
and vegetables [Weill, HartlineGradton, Burke, 2011]. The rise
of food insecurity and a growing
food waste problem are both
visible issues here in Savannah.
According to the Georgia
Food Bank Association (2015),
1 in 5 Georgia citizens are food
insecure, meaning they dont
always know where they will find
their next meal. 1 in 4 children
in Georgia live in food insecure
households. This means that more
than 700,780 children in Georgia
have been hungry and without
access to food. Alarmingly,
29% of these children live in
households above the poverty
level. These are the children of
working families and are therefore
considered ineligible for any
federal food nutrition programs.

Equally alarming is the amount


of food wasted every day by US
Americans. According to a 2012
study by the Natural Resource
Defense Council, 40 percent of
food in the United States goes
uneaten, meaning Americans are
throwing out the equivalent of
$165 billion each year (Gunders,
2012). This uneaten food ends up
rotting in landfills and is the largest
component of US municipal solid
waste which is causing toxic
methane emissions. Emissions
in turn result in the formation of
greenhouse gases, which are the
leading contributor in the climate
change issues facing our planet.
Through this research our team
identified that food deserts and
food waste are local challenges
in Savannah, as well as global
food challenges. The lack of
access to healthy food in a food
desert is directly connected to
the economic and environmental
conditions of the people in the
food desert.
The design must be resource
efficient so that access to
sustainable, healthy food options
are available constantly and
consistently. The design will
focus on bringing a sustainable
and affordable food system to
Savannah with the intentions of
contributing to solving the food
desert and waste problem.

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Neighborhood
A

30

Min

20 Min.
10 M
in.

Low-cost

High-cost
Mid-cost

Neighborhood
C

Neighborhood
B

The term Food desert was originally coined in the


United Kingdom. Food deserts are defined by lowincome communities proximity to supermarkets
because they lack healthy food options. However,
researchers have found that actual travel time and
method, as well as supermarket cost can change the
intensity and the expanse of a food desert. The study
suggested using supermarkets as points of access
to healthy food and then defining who could reach
them in 10 to 30 minutes by foot, bike, car or bus.
The study was not able to account for time spent
reaching a bus stop but recognized this as a factor.
Each supermarket was defined as either low, mid or
high cost. This approach created a more nuanced
view of food access in the selected area [Jiao,
Moudon, Ulmer, Hurvitz, & Drewnowski, 2012].
Figure 19: Breaking down the
definition of a food desert
Infographic. Authors Image.

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Food
transportation

Food
marketing

Shredded
to increase
Broken down
in enclosed

Food
processing

Laid out
in piles to

Food
Waste

Food
Producing

Harvesting

Screened to
remove any

Farming &
Cultivating

Seeding

Used to
improve soil

Nutrient-rich

Every food will have two different closed loops


processes done to it, including a production and
recycling process. Current trend indicates that
people put too much attention on how to reduce
food loss during the production process and ignore
the efficiency of the recycling process, which can
also provide considerable savings to a certain
extent. The two diagrams show the components
of both processes through which we can seek the
entry point for food challenge.

Figure 20: Opportunities to


reduce food waste during
downstream phase of
consumption Infographic.
Authors Image.

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$ 120 million/year

Poultry

Nuts

Fruit &
Veggies

Cotton

Tabacco

In Georgia, the farm cash receipt is around 5


billion dollars. The poultry and egg industry created
nearly 50% of the entire cash receipt. Georgia also
produces nearly half the amount of peanuts and
pecans for the entire country. Georgia ranks first
in the nation in the production of broilers, peanuts,
and pecans. Georgia ranked second in acreage of
cotton and rye, third in production of peaches and
tomatoes, and fifth in tobacco acreage and value
of production [Flatt, William P. 2015].

Figure 21: Major food


productions in Georgia, USA.
Authors Image.

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1.3 billion
Food Waste/year

868 million
suffering from hunger
=100 million

100%
of world hunger could be
eliminated

1.5 Lbs
Person/day

$2,275
Food waste/year

1.3 billion tons of food is wasted worldwide every year. 868 million
people suffer from hunger. The average American throws away 1.5
pounds of food daily, which adds up to $2,275 a year of food wasted.
(Phelps, M. 2014).

Figure 22: Exposition of amount of


food wasted yearly and amount
of people suffering from hunger
worldwide. Authors Image.

21

VS

The highly-processed, saturated-fat diets commonly found in food deserts do not just
affect inhabitants obesity levels. These diets also cause chronic low-level body and
brain inflammation, which in turn has been linked to depression, heart disease, stroke,
diabetes, cancer, and more. Food groups that most likely produce inflammation are
refined grains, margarine, red meat, and all soft drinks. These are also foods commonly
found in food deserts at fast food vendors and convenience stores. In an ongoing
study supported by Harvard, the highly respected Nurses Health Study, 43,685 women
between the ages of 50-77 who did not have depression were studied for twelve years.
During this time, women who ate more inflammatory foods than non-inflammatory foods
on a daily basis were found to be 29-41% more likely to develop depression than their
counterparts. Based on this data, it is clear that food deserts do not just affect physical
health, but can also be traced as a source of mental health issues. Foods that fight
inflammation include leafy greens, yellow vegetables, and olive oil.

Figure 23: Effects of highly


processed food: Obesity. C.
Authors Image.

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29-41%
Develop
depression/ day

Non-inflanmmatory Food

Inflanmmatory Food

Figure 24: Effects of highly


processed food: Mental Health
and Inflammation. Authors Image.

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Food Consumed Versus Food Loss

60%
40%
Food
Consumed
Food Loss

50%

50%

Seafood

Figure 25: Percentages of food


consumed versus food lost by
type. Authors Image.

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62%
38%

Grain Product

52%

48%

Fruit & Vegetables

Americans lack a secure food supply

1/6

Forty percent of the food in the US is uneaten, which equates to $165


billion of waste a year. All of this uneaten food simply ends up rotting
in a landfill. Solid waste from food accounts for largest component
of municipal waste in landfills. If the US reduced its food waste by
just 15%, there would be enough food to feed more than 25 million
Americans each year. This is especially relevant at a time when one in
six Americans lack a secure supply of food [Gunders, D 2015].

Figure 26: One in Six Americans


lack a secure food supply.
Authors Image.

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After researching the context we


decided upon the below listed
function of enabling that our
design must fulfill.

Design Statement
Our design must enable resilient selfsustaining food production methods in
urban areas.

Vision Statement
Our design facilitates the accessibility
to locally grown, quality organic food
and strengthens communities.

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Figure 27: Growth on pine


Tree. Authors Image.

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Life Principles
After narrowing our Design and Vision Statements
the team reviewed the 26 Biomimicry Life Principles
and chose six that we thought related most to our
initial statements. This allowed a focus for a design
to be developed.
Incorporate diversity:

Include multiple forms,


processes, or systems
to meet a functional
need.

...so that the design


can meet a changing
environment quickly.

Use Readily Available


Material and Energy

Build with abundant,


accessible materials
while harnessing freely
available energy.

...so that preexisting


organic waste from the
local environment is
reused.

Find value through


win-win interactions.

...so that the local


community is an integral
to part of the designs
success.

Create conditions to
allow components
to interact in concert
to move toward an
enriched system.

...so that the design can


repond quickly and
organically to challenges
as they arise.

Cultivate Cooperative
Relationships:

Self-Organize:

Recycle All Materials:

Use Life Friendly Chemistry:

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Keep all materials in a


closed loop.

Use chemistry
that supports life
processes.

...so that the design


creates a closed loop in
order to be resilient and
self-sustaining.

...so that the food


produced is organic.

Figure 28: Spiders Web on


Palm Tree. Authors Image.

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Figure 29: Shells on Rock.


Authors Image.

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Conclusion
Our contextual research findings have led us to identify
Savannah as a food desert due to its limited access to
healthy and sustainable food options. The cultivation,
production, and eventual waste of food in this country
has caused a multitude of environmental issues and the
challenges associated with it are affecting communities
large and small. By providing a sustainable food system
that is not only affordable but gives quality, healthy food
options for the people of Savannah, our design will have
a positive economic and environmental impact on our
local community.

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Figure 30: Lens focus


on leaf capillaries.
Authors Image.

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DISCOVERING
Once the design criteria had been developed in the
scoping phase, the team moved onwards toward the
discovering phase. During the discovering phase our
design statement was turned into a biologized research
question to guide our search for how nature manages
its nutrients. Research was accomplished through primary
field research, and secondary organism research. All
discoveries were captured in function cards to portray
different organsim and system functions, mechanisms,
and strategies that address the research question. From
these functions, design principles were abstracted to
emulate natures strategies in the consequent Creating
phase.
While some may blend research commonly in the
discovering phase with the background assessment
of the scoping phase, we tease them apart here to
demonstrate the unique value that biomimicry thinking
brings to the research aspects of the discovering phase...
The general objective of the discovering phase is to enter
the realm of divergent thought, where team members
broaden their perspectives to allow for a wide range of
ideas, inputs and influences... While market research is
often the driving input into most design processes, most
radical innovations come from outside of the norm, be
it visions of a possible future, completely unexpected
connections and inspirations, or purely brilliant insights.
In many ways, biomimicry thinking best serves radical
innovation because natural models generally arent
standard sources, yet natures strategies can provide
very compelling future visions and brilliant insights, proven
by 3.8 billion years of R&D (Baumeister, 2013).

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Biologized Research Question

How does nature manage the flow of nutrients in an


ecosystem?
uptake
absorb
upcycle
produce
provide
utilize
form
stabilize
commmunicate

Figure 31: Group discussion during


excursion. Authors Image.

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Research Methodology

The team was able to answer this


multi-faceted question through
a variety of research methods.
We learned from nature by
immersing ourselves into our
local ecosystems and habitat
on multiple excursions to explore
local ecosystems and habitats.
During this fieldwork, having
a professional naturalist was
crucial to the in-depth and often
spontaneous learning that took
place. As individuals, each team
member studied the surrounding
environment and recorded
observations in the form of iSites.
These activities allowed the group
to both practice and develop
obserbvational skills, as well as
enable insightful interactions with
our surroundings. In tandem to
these excursions, team members
individually studied a wide array
of organisms and systems in order
to learn about natures functions,
strategies, and mechanisms.
These findings were condensed
in the form of function cards and
natures genius was abstracted
into design principles to be used
later, during the creating phase..

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Barrier Island
Exploration
The team explored a familiar getaway in
an unfamiliar manner. They spent the day
examining and learning from the organisms we
encountered as we moved toward, along,
and beyond the beach. During the exploration
of Tybee Island, we learned about the
significance of particular niches filled by a
variety of organisms. The team dove into a
familiar environment from a point of view that
was unusual to the majority of the students:
the group examined from crucial role held by
the extensive root system of the sea oats to
the responsive nature of the morning glorys
low stature that enables it to collect the dew
at dawn, to the strength of the self-produced
adhesive made by barnacles located within
the high energy system of rock jetties, to the
moist and highly pressurized living environment
of the arthropods living within the sand. This
excursion proved to be the first of several
captivating learning opportunities to be
embarked upon throughout the completion
of this course.

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Figure 32: Outlook on Tybee.


Authors Image.

37

Figure 33: Floating ISite.


Authors Image.

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Fresh Water
Investigation
For the second biomimicry excursion, the class
ventured by canoe to the site of the Altamaha River,
which exists at the confluence of the Ocmulgee
River and Oconee River. Upon reaching the
sandbar the class had the opportunity to witness
nature at work including a spider weaving its
web to capture prey, an empty turtle nest, and
hovering turkey vultures scoping for their next meal.
During this experience, we had an opportunity to
further explore their surroundings, and to observe
and sketch various organisms during a Multi-Level
Observation iSite activity. Towards the end of the
trip, the class paddled into a serene slough amongst
cypress and Tupelo trees for a meditative sketching
experience. This was the another collaborative
experience to extend our observations and learning
beyond the classroom.

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Marsh & Estuary


Exploration
The Marsh and Estuary Exploration ecological
excursion proved to be a lesson in adaptability,
communication, and interpretation on both an
ecosystem and organism level. The trip began with
an introduction to the unassuming powerhouse
that is the marsh. Coastal marshes flourish amid
fluctuations in saltwater and freshwater; heat and
cold temperatures; dryness and complete water
immersion and everything in between. They provide
protection against inclement weather by absorbing
and dissipating the energy of waves, and work as
one of natures best filters when disaster strikes.
The day began with a collaborative iSite that built
team work and strengthened observational skills.
The participants discovered that they actually
used life principles such as using feedback loops
and cultivating cooperative relationships in their
communications! It was enlightening to see verbal
communication turned to visual interpretations and
the varying degrees of success in these translations.
The team then adapted to their environment in this
fieldtrip: they overcame their fear of the unknown
by walking into the marsh itself. All members of the
trip experienced the varying viscosity of coastal
marsh mud with a couple members accidentally
going thigh-deep in the softer mud. A few even
applied the nutrient-rich marsh gunk to their faces
after learning about the nutrients and minerals in it.
Taste was also a dominant sense for the Marsh and
Estuary Exploration. The team tasted Spartina grass
blades on two separate occasions to learn about
salinity levels and sea pickles by biting into them.

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Figure 34: Salt-Water Marsh.


Authors Image.

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Figure 35: Close-up of Turtle.


Authors Image.

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Ecology Lab
Excursion
The team went on an excursion to the Savannah
River Ecology Lab in Aiken, South Carolina. The
team walked the nature trail and saw several
plants native to the Low Country and how they
have adapted to their ecosystem. The team
also observed several native species of animals,
including turtles, snakes, fish and insects which
we were able to safely interact with. The team
learned about the strategies ecologists and
biologists use to observe nature, and about
the systems in place to track and monitor the
animals at the ecology lab.
Later in the day, the team was able to see
in person other native animals like possums,
alligators, owls, and coyotes. It was a good
opportunity to learn about these organisms up
close, and in some cases hands on!

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Coastal Georgia
Botanical Garden
The design team forwent the Rivers to Reefs
Connection trip on Skidaway Island in favor of
one to the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens
and the Savannah Wildlife Refuge. Cathy Sakas,
the biologist at the design table, proposed
this change when bamboo was chosen as a
champion organism. The Botanical Gardens
contain the closest bamboo gardens, which
provided a good opportunity to study the plant
itself as a primary research source. At the Georgia
Botanical Gardens the group learned about
niches, the structure and varying sizes of bamboo,
and about native edible plants like mustard
greens. An interesting point was made when the
group encountered Ilex vomitoria, or Yaupon.
Yaupon Holly is the only known caffeinated plant
native to North America. It was widely revered
and traded by the local Native Americans as
black drink. Yaupon also brought up a discussion
of how nature uses color as its language. Red and
yellow usually mean danger, so the red berries in
yaupon are a clear sign that the fruit is unsuitable
for consumption. Dark purples mean that a fruit or
vegetable is especially nutritious.

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Figure 36: Close-Up of Palm


Tree Trunk. Authors Image.

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Figure 37: Swimming Alligator.


Authors Image.

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Savannah Wildlife
Refuge
The group visited the Savannah Wildlife Refuge
visitors center. Here, they watched an informative
film about the National Wildlife Refuge system
before setting off to the Wildlife Drive. During
the drive, the team observed how the old rice
plantations were turned over to nature, and how
some of the old man-made (slave-made) structures
still remain, such as the levee system, while others
have completely disappeared. The most exciting
point in this trip was observing three different
alligators- one basking in the sun, and two in the
water. The group debated whether the first shape in
the water was just a trunk shaped like an alligators
head. Then a small object hit the water a foot away
from the dark shape, and the alligator revealed its
16 inch jaw, open to maximum capacity.

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Sketch Instructions:
Find a natural area away from others to observe everything around you over
the next half hour. Do not write or sketch, simply observe.
Eventually focus your attention on one organism or a group of organisms
interacting with their immediate environment.
More iSites in Appendix A
Focused observation is a powerful skill and will reveal the most surprising
things
if you
stay onas
task.
During the
teams
excursions
well as in their free time, iSites were completed to record
experiences
from
nature.
These
structured observation-based
exercises
werea a
waywould
to
On one
such
Seated
Observation
a child held a branch
in hopes
bird
witness nature first hand and (re)connect. The iSites also provided opportunities to ask
land on it and it did! The child wanted to be the branch and she was.
nature the biologized research question and search for opportunities for design.
After 30 minutes have passed, please make your sketch and record your
observations.

Example of iSite:
Multilevel Observation

Figure 38: Multi-Level ISite


Sketch on Altamaha River.
Authors Image.

48

Name: Seated Observation iSite on Island


Sketch Instructions

Date: 10/03/15

Location: Sand Island in Middle of Altamaha River

Find a natural area away from others to observe everything

around you over the next half hour. Do not write or sketch, simply

Focus/Purpose:
observe.
Eventually
focus youron
attention
on view
one organism
To
do observation
different
range or a group of
organisms interacting with their immediate environment.

Focused observation is a powerful skill and will reveal the most

Observations:
suprising things if you stay on task.
On
knees:
I saw have
fallenpassed
leaves,please
ball-like
fruit,
parasitic
roots,
and mushrooms.
After
30 minutes
make
your
sketch and
record
your
observations.
The soil was rich in nutrition because it had thick soil layer.
When I lifted my head: I saw a bunch of bush of the same kind and they
Location
grew at the same spot.
Sand
When
I stood
up: Iofsaw
the riverbank
was covered by at least four kinds of
Island
in Middle
Altamaha
River
trees, which formed a shield for species living beneath.
Focus/Purpose

Reflections:
To complete observations on multiple ranges of view.
I felt peaceful and calm during the Seated Observation.
Observations
I also felt that one could only see the truth of nature when he went deeply
and stayed close to the nature. The interactions were different depended on
what
On knees:
sawhow
fallen
leaves, Iball
like to
fruit,
parastic roots, and
level Iand
detailed
chose
observe.
mushrooms.

The soil was rich in nutrition because it had a thick dark soil layer.
Life Principals:
When I lifted my head: I saw a bunch of bushes of the same kind
and they grew in the same area.

When I stood up: I saw the riverbank was covered by at least four
kinds of trees, which formed a shield for species living beneath.

Reflections

Be Locally Attuned and Responsive

I felt peaceful and calm during the seated observation.


I also felt that one could only seeThe
theriver
truth ecosystem
of nature when
he went
is formed
with
deeply and stayed close to nature.
The interactions
different
cooperation
by the were
species
living
depending on what level and how detailed I chose to observe.

inside. For example, trees provide


shield and nutrition to creatures
Life Principles
growing beneath them, as a response,
Cultivate Cooperative Relationships:creatures return nutrition back to the
trees when they are dead.
The river ecosystem is formed with cooperation by the species living
inside. For example, trees provide shield and nutrition to creatures
growing beneath them, as a response, creatures return nutrition back
to the trees when they are dead.

49

Champion Organsims
More Function Cards in Appendix B

To help continue the teams emulation of nature, four champion organisms were chosen
from the groups function cards. These organisms are particularly proficient at directly
application functions for the Savannah Food Stalk.
The rainforest was chosen for the way it stratifies nutrients; the bamboo plant for its
elegantly multi-functional forms; the elephant for its especially efficient grinding teeth;
and the sphagnum moss for its cleaning ability and modular growth.

50

Tropical Rainforest
Function: To maximize limited resources within a system and retain nutrients in a
closed loop.
Strategy: Species in the tropical rainforest collect nutrients and water immediately
before rain can leach them away.
Mechanism: Despite the low-nutrient level of tropical rainforest soil, the enormous
biodiversity allows the rainforest species to create a quasi-closed loop system of
nutrients, sustaining its own biodiversity. The different species collect water and other
nutrients that enter the cycle as soon as they can, so that there is no loss by leaching
of these nutrients and water into the ground.
Design Principle: Our design must incorporate a diversity of elements that
work together in a closed-loop system so that no nutrient goes to waste.

Closed Loop System

Falling Foliage
accumulates
on forest floor.

Decaying Organic
Material provides
nutrients for others
to flourish.

Figure 40: Illustration of tropical rainforest biodiversity and levels. Authors Image.
Figure 39: Panorama: Tropical Rainforest Taken by D. Perlman (14 July 2007) Perlman, D.
(2007, July 14). Panorama: Tropical Rainforest [digital image]. Retrieved from http://www.
ecolibrary.org/images/full_image/Tropical_rainforest_with_buttress_roots_and_lianas_N_
Madagascar_DP9005.jpg
Travelling Craze MOIZ (Photographer). (2015, 11 August). Retrieved from http://
travellingcraze.com/tropical-rainforest-facts/

51

52

Sphagnum Moss (Sphagnum)


Function: To store large amounts of water
Strategy: The space between overlapping leaves serves as a container for water storage.
Mechanism: Just like sponges, sphagnums leaf is composed of empty, dead cells, which
is called hyalocytes, with large pores on them. The empty cells help retain water in drier
conditions. These cells have walls strengthened with fibers, which can prevent the cells
collapsing or exploding under stress. The walls also have pores in them through which the
water (and even other small critters) may enter.
Design Principle: Our design must incorporate a sponge-like but strong structure to hold
large quantities of water in dry environments.

Cells expand when water enters

Water is stored in cells

Walls strengthened with fibers

Figure 42: Illustration of sphagnum moss modular growth. Authors Image.


Figure 41: Sphagnum Moss. Taken by F. Christian (2008) Christian F, (20082015). Sphagnum moss. Retrieved from http://www.asknature.org/
Asknature, (2008-2015). Internal Perforations Transport Nutrients: Sphagnum Moss.
Retrieved from http://www.asknature.org/strategy/254075f8718e7f8564dea6c0c

53

54

Elephant (Elephas maximus)


Function: To maximize nutrient release.
Strategy: The Elephants teeth with multiple ridges efficiently grinds vegetation to
maximize the release of nutrients.
Mechanism: The elephants molars are wide and flat, giving them a perfect shape for
grinding vegetation. Ridges on the chewing surface run perpendicular to the orientation
of the vegetation entering its mouth. As the molars grind the vegetation which is crushed
so efficiently that the release of nutrients is maximized. As the teeth are formed they
erupt from the back of the jaw and move from back to front in a conveyor belt fashion.
By the time the teeth reach the front of the mouth they are so worm they become
useless and pop out being replaced by new ones. There are only four molars in use in an
elephants mouth at any one time.
Design Principle: Our design must utilize efficient grinding ridges so that release of
nutrients is maximized.

Nutrients

Food

Figure 44: Elephants teeth section view illustration. Authors Image.


Figure 43: African elephant. Taken by Eugenia and Julian. (6 February 2005) Eugenia
& Julian. (6 February 2005). African elephant, Loxodonta Africana [digitalimage].
Retrieved from http://www.asknature.org/strategy/6b642c93e7426b6d86f
IEF. (1998 - 2014). Just for Kids Crafts for Kids! Elephant Diet, Digestion, Gas and Manure.
Retrievedfrom http://www.elephantconservation.org /just-for-kids/

55

56

Bamboo (Bambbusoideae)
Function: To grow modularly.
Strategy: The implementation of nodes creates shorter structural members that are
independent, yet still receptive to nutrients, allowing for the stem to reach its maximum
height.
Mechanism: Due to the rapid growth characteristic of bamboo, nodes segment the
stem into shorter and stronger sections (internodes). These sections increase the structural
integrity of the organism by creating a smaller length to girth ratio increasing shear
strength. This scale results in the capability to grow narrowly and exponentially taller in
a short period of time while remaining structurally sound. The culm itself is composed of
densely compacted fibers that facilitate a capillary action of nutrients, causing them to
flow through the narrow openings of the fibers against the force of gravity and without
the assistance of any external forces.
Design Principle: Our design must employ exponentially modular components, so that it
increases structural integrity, creates compartments of varying volumes to make efficient
use of space, and facilitates the capillary flow of nutrients from bottom-up.

Compartmentalized sections of
bamboo allow for integral strength.

Facilitates capillary
flow of nutrients from
bottom up.

Figure 46: Section view of tapered bamboo stalk. Authors Image.


Figure 45: Bamboo stalk close-up. Taken by A. Emmanuel Lattes. (15 May 2015).
Emmanuel Lattes, A. (Photographer). (2015, 15 May). Retrieved from http://phenomena.
nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/15/bamboo-mathematicians/
Complete Bamboo. (n.d). Bamboo Biology Morphology, Structure, and Anatomy.
Retrieved from http://www.completebamboo.com/bamboo_anatomy.html

57

Function Matrix
Organism

58

Function

Alpaca (Vicugna pacos)

To regulate metabolism to conserve nutrients in a


cold alpine environment.

Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus)

To conserve nutrients in a cold arctic environment.

Bamboo (Bambbusoideae)

To grow modularly.

Banana Tree (Musa)

To absorb potassium.

Black Coral (Antipathes)

To provide structural strength.

Bull Kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana)

To maintain physical integrity while managing the


structural forces that naturally occur.

Bracken (Pteridinium)

To self-sustain, reproduce, and disperse by wind.

Bumble Bee (Bombus)

To store pollen in the corbicula in high volume.

Camel (Camelus)

To conserve nutrients for very long periods of time.

Caribou (Rangifer tarandus)

To thermoregulate breathing air.

Chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum)

To ensure regeneration and resilience after fire.

Coniferous Forest

To thermo-regulate the eco-system.

Coral Polyp (Anthozoa)

To use excess nutrients to build up coral reefs.

Common Glasswort (Salicornia europea)

To evaluate, store, and transport contaminants.

Coniferous Trees (Pinophyta)

To absorb sunlight.

Cyanobacteria (Cylindrospermopsis)

To form and stabilize the soils (not losing nutrients


unnecessarily).

Deciduos Forest

To adapt to seasonal changes.

Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)

To monitor and secrete high levels of salinity..

Duck Weed (Family Lemnaceae)

To manage amount of oxygen and other chemicals


in the water.

Elephant (Elephas maximus)

To maximize nutrient release.

Forest (Silva)

To harness solar energy and transforms it into


oxygen.

Golden Jackal (Canis aureus)

To utilize varied nutrient sources.

Great Burdock (Arctium lappa)

To distribute seed.

Ice Worm (Mesenchytraeus solifugus)

To physically adapt to extreme climate.

Table 1: Function Matrix: Alpaca to Ice Algae. The teams function cards sorted alphabetically, and categorized by
organism, function, mechanism, and design principle.

Strategy
Alpacas have long, thick, wooly coats which enable them to
better regulate their metabolism
Conserving heat and regulating metabolism through the
evolution of smaller extremities.
The implementation of nodes creates shorter structural
members that are independent, yet still receptive to nutrients,
allowing for the stem to reach its maximum height.
Absorbing potassium through osmosis.
Black coral creates a strong exterior shell though an internal
chemical process.

Design Principle
Our design must conserve nutrients under various
temperatures, so that our design can be used during all
times of the year.
Our design must regulate nutrient use, so that there is little to
no nutrient loss.
Our design must employ exponentially modular
components, so that it increases structural integrity, creates
compartments of varying volumes to make efficient use of
Our design must enable nutrient absorption throughout the
plant, so that the plant is healthy and nutritious for human
consumption.
Our design must have a strong external structure.

The haptera [roots] has adapted to the high-energy system


by incorporating flexibility and by allowing for the rotation of
the base.
Asexual reproduction and wind dispersal of spores to achieve
habitat dominance.

Our design must utilize flexible yet strong, so that it creates a


structure suitable in areas of high winds, unstable ground, or
underwater.
Our design must utilize efficient reproductive and dispersal
methods, so that it can be self-sustaining.

Bees use the corbicula (a part of the tibia on their hind legs)
in harvesting pollen and returning it to the nest or hive.

Our design must incorporate how bees make use of the


corbicula, so that powdery food can be stored and
transported efficiently.
Our design must retain nutrients for long periods of time, so
that food can be stored for later use.

Storing nutrients through excess fat cells.


The Caribou can change the temperature of cold air to
breathe easier.

Our design must change the temperature with internal


mechanics so that it is a reliable and adaptable process.

Chamise ensures regeneration after fires by, most notably,


producing underground basal burls.

Our design must ensure regeneration, resilience, and survival


by incorporating redundancy and variation within its system.

Growth and maintenance of dense overhead cover regulate


the eco-system.

Our design must consistently regulate and balance


temperature for the continuous circulation of nutrients.

Deposit calcium carbonate throughout the reproductive


cycle.

Our design must make productive use of excess nutrients, so


that food and nutrients are not wasted.

Absorb contaminants through the root system and store them


in the root biomass and/or transport them up into the stems
and/or leaves.
Coniferous trees optimize sunlight absorption, within a boreal
environment, for the purpose of photosynthesis.

Our design must facilitate a tsystem that immobilizes and


accumulates pollutants, so that they are moved to a zoned
area of a safe distance.
Our design must be shaped to allow for greatest absorption
and utilization of sunlight, so that it produces adequate
nutrients for energy.
Our design must incorporate a binder mechanism so that
loose material stays in the system where it is needed.

Cyanobacteria stabilizes the soil by sending mycelia through


the soil and rock forming an intricate web of fibers which, in
turn, join the loose particles of soil together.
The forest regulates nutrient consumption despite
environmental changes.
The lacrimal gland of the diamond back maintains salt
balance and allows marine vertebrates to drink seawater.
Duckweed grows on the surface of still or slow moving
water absorbing nutrients, blocking sunlight and minimizing
evaporation.
The Elephants teeth with multiple ridges efficiently grinds
vegetation to maximize the release of nutrients.

Our design must have adaptable nutrient consumption.


Our design must identify and excrete excessive amounts of
unwanted
material, so that it prevents complications.
Our design must absorb and release vital chemicals, so that
its environment is balanced.
Our design must utilize efficient grinding ridges so that
release of nutrients is maximized.

Through the process of photosynthesis, the forest utilizes solar


energy to release oxygen.

Our design must lead to a complete nutritional cycle.

Jackals practice opportunistic feeding as a means of survival.

Our design must access and utilize different food sources as


available locally so that it can be adaptable, efficient, and
scalable in different environments.
Our design must utilize existing modes of transportation to
achieve efficient and passive distribution of
nutrients.
Our design must adjust to high and low temperatures, so
that it is protected from extreme changes in climate.

Burdock attaches itself to other organisms to spread and


distribute its seed in a passive manner.
The outer membrane of the organism has evolved to resist
freezing through the secretion of proteins similar to the
properties of anti-freeze.

59

Organism
Ice Algae (Mesotaenium berggrenii)

To grow under the ice serving as a habitat and


food source for fish.

Jewel Beetle (Buprestidae)

To produce hard structure.

Mangrove Leaf (Rhizophora mangle)

To limit the loss of water.

Monsoon Forest

To provide nutrients for the entire ecosystem.

Oriental Hornet (Vespa orientalis)

To provide a cooling mechanism.

Oriental Hornet (Vespa orientalis)

To generate electrical energy.

Polar Bear (Ursus Maritimus)

To achieve thermal regulation through heat


exchange.

Phloem (Phloios)

To transport sugar to various tissues of the plant.

Phytoplankton (Pinophyta)

To produce its own food and energy.

Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

To utilize a large variety of food types.

Rifitia Tubeworm (Riftia pachyptila)

To convert chemicals into nutrients in a sunless


chemically saturated environment.

Red Tipped Tube Worm (Riftia pachyptia)

To exchange compounds with the environment.

River (Fluminis)

To transport nutrients and waste from and through


multiple environments from the mountains to the
ocean.
To be substantial in size and fit all underwater
conditions.

Sea Anemone (Actiniana)

60

Function

Sea Oat (Uniola paniculata)

To stabilize and preserve sand dunes.

Sphagnum Moss (Sphagnum)

To become saturated with nutrients.

Snow Leapord (Panthera uncia)

o optimize oxygen intake in a boreal environment.

Striped Bass (Morone saxatillis)

To provide penetrative protection.

Temnothorax Ants (Temnothorax albipennis)

To manage and distribute resources.

Termite (Isoptera)

To keep their mounds temperature at a stable


level.

Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)

Prevent build up of bacteria.

Tropical Rainforest

To maximize limited resources within a system and


retain nutrients in a closed loop.

Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)

To withstand freezing temperatures.

Upwelling

To Supply nutrients and supports abundant


plankton.

Xylem (Xylon)

To transport water from the roots to other plant


organs.

Table 2: Function Matrix: Ice Algae to Xylem. The teams function cards sorted alphabetically, and categorized by
organism, function, mechanism, and design principle.

Strategy

Design Principle

Algae uses photosynthesis to create nutrition in their physical


forms creating nutrition for primary and secondary consumers.

Our design must create sources of nutrients that can support


whole systems, so that it is self sufficient.

Larval jewel beetle through bio-mineralization create hard


mandibles from soft compound.

Our design must be able to use available materials or


compounds to create strong hard structure.

Limit the amount of water they lose through their leaves by


restricting the opening of their stomata.

Our design must have adjustable openings, so that it allows


or restricts the movement of nutrients.

Monsoon forests are made up of various organisms that aid in


the recycling and provision of nutrients.

Our design must balance growth and development in the


environment.

Hair structure and wing movement of the oriental hornet create


thermal convention currents for cooling purpose.

Our design must incorporate a relatively passive cooling


mechanism in optimize energy.

Oriental hornets generate electrical energy though the different


rates at which yellow and brow bands absorb ultraviolet
radiation from the sun.
The hollow core hair follicles reflect light and trap heat.

Our design must incorporate different color to generate


electrical energy though varying rates of ultraviolet radiator
absorption.
Our design must regulate temperature regardless of external
elements so that it can insulate internal mechanisms.

Phloem is a living tissue that transports organic material made in


the leaves during photosynthesis to all other cells in

Our design must incorporate different concentrations of


solutes so that nutrient transport is achieved by

Conversion of energy into food.

Our design must efficiently utilize sunlight, so that it produces


food and nutrients essential to other organisms.

Raccoons are resourceful, sensitive and roam widely which


allows them to gather a large variety of nutrients and adapt to
changing conditions quickly.
The Rifitia Tubeworms have internal bacteria that perform
chemosynthesis, converting the chemical into nutrients.

Our design must utilize a variety of nutritional sources, so that


adaption to changing conditions can happen quickly.

The implementation of nodes creates shorter structural


members that are independent, yet still receptive to nutrients,
allowing for the stem to reach its maximum height.
Snow leopards have adapted nasal cavities that warm cold air,
which helps increase oxygen intake in high altitudes.

Our design must convert chemicals from its immediate


environment into nutrients and energy, so that more
resources are made available.
Our design must convert expelled nutrients into reusable
organic matter through chemosythesis so that it can be self
sustaining.
Our design must passively transport nutrients and waste
through a system, so that they are used efficiently and
cyclically.
Our design must incorporate shape changing features for
water storage. Water may also be a part of the structure,
which will achieve the goal of multiple tasks in one design.
Our design must extract nutrients and provide stability,
so that it promotes and preserves growth even in harsh
conditions.
Our design must employ exponentially modular
components, and facilitates the capillary flow of nutrients
from bottom-up.
Our design must optimize the intake of oxygen, so that
organisms can thrive in a limited environment.

Striped bass scales provide high resistance to penetration giving


high protection.

Our design must provide highly effective protection from


mechanical injury.

After a famine, ant colonies assess their food supply and


distribute food throughout the colony.

Our design must include strategically located distribution


hubs, specialized roles, and silos so as to ensure efficient
distribution and access of nutrients.
Our design must incorporate termite mounds structure so
that the temperature could be controlled in a low-energy
consumption way.
Our design must utilize antibacterial surfaces so that it
protects against foreign agents.

Bacteria converts oxygen, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon


dioxide into organic molecules so the host worm can feed.
Rivers passively use gravity creating flow to transport nutrition
and waste through multiple environments, recycling the waste
and gathering nutrition.
Sea anemone uses material viscosity to change the size of its
body wall.
Stabilizing sand dunes and beach plant communities by
trapping wind-blown sand.

Termites have devised a system of vents and channels inside


the mounds to maintain the inner temperature constant at 30.5
degrees celcius.
The tightly woven scales make a challenging surface for
microorganisms to cling too.
Species in the tropical rainforest collect nutrients and water
immediately before rain can leach them away.
By flooding its blood with glucose, it can enter a cryogenic state
to preserve its body until warmer weather is present.

Our design must incorporate a diversity of elements that


work together in a closed-loop system so that no nutrient
goes to waste.
By flooding its blood with glucose, it can enter a cryogenic
state to preserve its body until warmer weather is present.

Utilizing upwelling for nutrients transport.

Our Design must actively renovate the living conditions

Xylem works as a transport tissue that moves water and minerals


through vessels to access various parts of the

Our design must include a moisture differential so that all


nutrients are dispersed to all parts of the plant.

61

This graphic demonstrates the walk across


the function bridge from scoping the design
challenge to biologizing the research question and
discovering models in nature. The outcome are
abstracted design principles that guide the design
process by offering natures genius packaged in
design language.

DESIGN STATEMENT

En
ab

Our design must enable resilient self-sustaining


food production methods in urban areas.

le

roduction
od P
o
F
nt
ilie
s
Re

BIOLOGIZED QUESTION

PROJECT VISION

FUNCTION BRIDGE

ate
d
gies

62

RI

TR A

n
Pr Des
N inc ign
at ip C
ur les riteria
e
s S A b s tr a
tr
cte

Figure 48: Savannah Food Stalk


Function Bridge. Authors Image.

NP

ai
M n
ig
es
4 D from

IG
ES

A BS

Our design facilitates the


accessibility to locally
grown, quality organic
food and strengthens
communities.

ign
D es

Pr

i
inc

pl

Our d

BIOLOGIZED RESEARCH QUESTION

le
ab
En

Employ exponentially modular components

IN

How does nature manage nutrition


flow in an ecosystem?

S
C IPLE

es

Utilize efficient grinding ridges

Bamboo

Elephant

NATURES DESIGN
STRATEGIES
Utilize a stratification system

Utilize a nutrient translocation mechanism

Rain Forest

Sphagnum Moss

Our design must incorporate a sponge-like but strong structure to hold large quantities of water in dry environments.
Our design must utilize efficient grinding ridges so that release of nutrients is maximized.

design must employ modular components, so that it increases structural integrity and facilitates the capillary flow of nutrients from bottom-up.
Our design must incorporate a diversity of elements that work together in a closed-loop system so that no nutrient goes to waste.

63

Additional Design Criteria


To provide people with an innovative and easy way to grow food.
With the hive center, to provide community built around the culture of
self-grown healthy food.
To provide small scale food production to urban environments.
To contain decomposing material for multitude of weeks without
releasing smell.
To distribute the composted material into the soil without destroying
plants/root system.
To develop hubs in which vegetables can be grown at a large scale in
a matrix that consists of modular containers.
To provide a service that allows nearby residents to purchase
vegetables in the hubs or take them away for further growing at
home. Residents can also bring vegetables back to the hubs for better
attention or exchanges with other species.
To vertically compost with adequate ventilation, will help with odor
and allow oxygen to enter.
To efficiently incorporate bugs and other organisms in the composting
process as a component rather than as a pestilence.
To recycle the water extracted from the plants and the compost itself,
and in turn regulate water usage so the compost does not become
too dry or too moist.
To integrate local farmers production and improve the consumption
of the same.
To demonstrate that through this project, we will increase the
interestand the consumption (qualitatively and scientifically)by
families of middle and low income of these qualifying products ,
justifying the time and process of designing and creating new artifacts.
Design a farming modular unit that is self sustained and has balanced
elements in order to reproduce cycles that have zero waste.
Design a unit that takes advantage of natural components and is able
to distribute the essential resources to enhance farming condition.

64

CONCLUSION
During the discovering phase the
team was able to gain insight into
how nature manages nutrition
in her ecosystems through field
excursions and in-depth research.
These excursions were also
inspiring and helped the team
reconnect to nature, making for
an uplifting experience.
During this phase, the team
also organized the collected
information in such a way as to
understand it in relation to the
life principles. These experiences
prepared us for the next step of
our process: solving the problem
through emulation, innovation,
and collaboration.

Figure 49: Image of wetland tree


during canoe excursion. Authors
Image.

65

Figure 50: Ideation process.


Authors Image.

66

CREATING
After intensive secondary research,
field research and various iSites, the
class began a collaborative brainstorm
for the design with a design charrette,
which lasted 12 hours. Development
of concept models and conceptual
prototypes began. Based off of these
concept models, an informative
story was developed, which further
explored the possibilities for a solution.
This brainstorming led to a refinement
of concept sketches, more secondary
and primary research, and potential
prototypes, which integrated the 26
life principles, all while adhering to the
Biomimicry framework.
After preliminary designs and
development, final refinement of
conceptual sketches and prototypes,
the class finalized an idea that revolved
around a product. Four champion
organisms were selected to aid in the
design and what each function could
provide for the system. The final product
design, which encompasses a modular,
self-sustaining composting and nutrient
stratification system, will address the food
desert issue in Savannah and increase
accessibility to healthy and homegrown
foods.

67

DESIGN CHARRETTE
Immediately following the discovering phase, the
team dove head first into creating with the design
charette. The team gathered objects from both
the human and natural worlds, and prepared
three studios. Each team member invited friends
from the community and from SCAD to join,
to provide open and fresh minds and different
perspectives. After a brief discussion about
biomimicry, our design statement and function
cards, the participants split into three teams. The
process began with building a kinesthetic model,
built silently to engage intuition for more instinctive
forms of communication. Then, the models were
interpreted into vague concepts and ideas by all
teams. From there, the teams split off again, with
some guests leaving, and thus the group began
shaping specific solutions through visualization
and conversation while asking how nature would
solve issues that arose. At the end of the day,
each team presented a possible design solution
to meet the challenge outlined in the scoping
and discovering phases. From those ideas, the
design team decided to follow through with one:
a modular agricultural system that would compost
and grow food on a small scale, so that it could
function in an urban environment.

Figure 51: Phase One of


Charrette: Guests learning
about Function Cards. Authors
Image.

68

Figure 52: Phase Two of Charrette:


Abstractin. Authors Image.

69

After the first brainstorming session,


the team returned to research
various organisms and mechanisms
that could better aid our design.
The team decided on four
champion organisms to inform
the design. Further research was
gathered to support the specific
champion mechanisms that were
extracted and mimicked for the
design. As our concept developed,
the team adapted ideas to grow
food vertically and indoors.
Issues arose which needed to be
addressed and solved within the
design. For instance, how will the
design cope with odor, bugs, and
vermin? Will the product allow
for enough oxygen for proper
composting and aeration? How
will water and compost move
throughout the system efficiently?
Once these questions surfaced, the
team turned back to nature and
delved into extensive research,
looking for organisms that presented
possible solutions. Duckweed,
bamboo, and sphagnum moss
were studied for their specific
mechanisms, specifically involving
nutrient extraction and stratification
and sanitation.
The team researched various
edible plants and their extensive
root structures to ensure that the
design could efficiently support
these plants. Proper dimensioning
needed to be considered in order
to determine which plants could
thrive successfully within the system.
Adequate and overall depths were
considered in order to support
an abundance of various plants.
Promising plants considered were:
snap peas, green onions, kale,
arugula, lettuce, and spinach.
With these plants in mind, three
modular depths were considered
for the product; one at 4 inches, 8
inches, and 12 inches. These three
depths will allow for adequate and
appropriate growth for plants.

70

Figure 53: Teams Form Studies.


Authors Image.

71

As the team moved forward with


the design, they continued to
revisit nature and the champion
organisms for solutions. Through
exploring form, the team directed
their attention to bamboo, for
its strength and modularity.
The team brainstormed various
possibilities through quick
sketches. These sketches
were then refined to fit the
functions. After much debate
and discussion, the design was
finalized and rendered.

72

Figure 54: Teams Modular Form


Studies. Authors Image.

73

Our design must


utilize efficient
grinding ridges so that
release of nutrients is
maximized.

At the top of the Food Stalk,


compost material is manually
poured in and ground by a
mechanism inspired by the
grinding of elephants teeth.
Water is added to keep compost
moist and disperse the nutrients.
The ground compost then
passes through a filter into tubes
that distributes it at each level
through one-way valves. The
system stratifies nutrients much
like a rainforest, only instead of
each niche being different, each
niche is replicated identically.
Gravity and pressure are used
to move the liquified compost
slurry through the system,
much like how plants move
nutrients through their systems.
The unabsorbed nutrients are
collected in a drawer at the
bottom, which can then be
poured into the top to continue
the cycle. The form was further
refined to fit the function. Angles
were cut into the bottom shelves
along with small windows to allow
more sunlight to enter. Once a
design direction was established,
we started research sustainable
materials to use in manufacturing.
like bamboo, fungus, and
biodegradable plastics.

Our design must employ


modular components,
so that it increases
structural integrity,
creates compartments of
varying volumes to make
efficient use of space,
and facilitates the
capillary flow of nutrients
from bottom-up.

Our design must


incorporate a
sponge-like but strong
structure to hold large
quantities of water in
dry environments.

Our design must


incorporate a diversity
of elements that work
together in a closedloop system so that
no nutrient goes to
waste.

74

Figure 55: Savannah Food


Stalk Technical Line Drawings.
Authors Image.

75

76

Prototype
To make the prototype, the team
used readily available materials
like pvc, polyurethane, recycled
wood and resin. They understood
that these were not sustainable
materials, but used them because
of affordability and ease of
access. Having access to a shop
made the process quicker and
the team got to use chisels, a
table saw, drill press, and dremel.
The first thing the building group
did was measure and cut the pvc
pipes into equal sections. The next
step was to open the different
cavities in the external structure.
An inner and outer section of
pipe were joined together with
polyurethane to make a hollow
structure. Once these two pieces
were joined, we sanded the extra
material and surfaces to define
details and improve surface
quality. For the modules that will
support the plants we cut smaller
pipes and molded them to the
requirements from the technical
drawings.

Figures 56-59: Mock-up process


shots. Building took place in
SCADs Industrial Designs
Gulfstream shop. Authors Image.

77

Figure 60: Product shot of


Savannah Food Stalk mock-up.
Authors Image.
Figures 61-64: Detail shots of
Savannah Food Stalk mock-up
components. Clockwise: Single
Plant-Growing Module, Closed
Grinding Mechanism, Open
Grinding Component , CloseUp of Modules inside Structure.
Authors Image.

78

79

Module Unit

Figure 65: Digital Prototype:


Close-Up of Single Module- Back
View. Authors Image.

80

Figure 66: Digital Prototype:


Front View of Single Module
and Bottom of Structure.
Authors Image.

81

Figure 67: Digital Prototype: Nutrient


Flow and Component Function
Illustration. Authors Image.

82

The design consists of three significant modular sizes, that allow various
plants to be grown within. The sizes, each measured by depth, are:
4, 8, and 12 inches. The product is ideal for in-home use or within a
community garden where people could deliver their compost, pick up
fresh herbs and vegetables, or an entire Food Stalk Farm of growing
plants!
Figure 68: Digital Prototype: Three
Views of Savannah Food Stalk
Modular Unit. Authors Image.

83

Figure 69: Inspection of


compartmentalized Camellia
leaves in Botanical Garden.
Authors Image.

84

EVALUATING
The team began the evaluation process early
into the Creation phase. At the beginning of the
charette, each person chose three principles
to keep in mind during the workday. This was
a tactic meant to keep the group on track,
and prevent any derailing from the Biomimicry
process. A more formal evaluation process was
undertaken once the Savannah Food Stalk
design was solidified. This time the twenty-six
life principles were distributed among the team
members. Each person was tasked with an indepth assessment of how the design followed
these fundamentals or, in some cases, how it
failed to do so.

85

How does the teams design


deviate from nature?

What would nature not do


here?

The only element straying from


nature is the user-operated
and handling care needed
to maintain the health of the
plants and upkeep of the system
in order to ensure the design
continues to work. Nature does
not need humans to work.
However humans need nature.

Nature would be sure to not


create waste. Nature is a closed
loop system and any and all
biproducts created in the
consumption and decomposition
of nutrients are recycled by
another organism or species.

What would nature do here?


Nature continuously finds ways to
replenish its growth regardless of
external conditions. Except in the
case of extreme environmental
degradation or the introduction
of toxic elements, nature will use
its local resources to ensure it
continues to function.

Figure 70: Bamboo Garden at


Botanical Garden. Authors Image.

86

What materials could be


used that would fulfill our
manufacturing needs and be
sustainable?
The design could utilize the
material developed by a previous
biomimicry project, LOOP. The
LOOP team have suggested
the possibility of upcycling bone
and meat waste into 3D printing
filament which could be used to
print this product. A material such
as this would meet our need for
cheap, flexible manufacturing
and be sustainable.

In which ways does this design lead


to sustainable futures?

How could this design be


improved?

The most sustainable aspect of the design


is the users ability to provide food for her/
himself while utilizing food waste they
would have otherwise thrown away. By
limiting the transportation of produce
from regional to international farming
that would eventually end up at the local
grocery store, we are reducing a carbon
footprint that greatly impacts our society.
Any opportunity for an individual or family
to naturally provide for themselves, what
they would otherwise have to pay for, is
sustainable.

The design can be improved by


the introduction of an electronic
monitoring system that allows
the user to be able to recognize
when the compost or plants need
to be changed or even when
the system is lacking in water or
nutrients. The system is designed
for a first time user who has never
had the opportunities to garden
and grow food for her/himself.
Any innovation in the realm of
immediately assisting or alerting
the user when a problem arises
would be an ideal improvement.

Unresolved Issues with proposed prototype


Current Limitations/Obstacles Still
Needed to Be Overcome

Unknown factors to be
considered

Where in the home will the design


is located? Does the home have
adequate light for the plants
to grow? Does the home have
space for an indoor system?

User Knowledge
Communal Integration

87

Evaluated Life
Principles
Adapt to Changing Conditions

Structural Stability of Model

Incorpotate Diversity

Multiple Processes

Maintain Integrity Through SelfRenewal

Closed Nutrient Loop

Embody Resilience Through


Variation, Redundancy, and
Decentralization

Variation of Functions

88

If a part of the model is damaged, renewing or fixing the model is easy because
modularity is built into the design.

The design accounts for changes in nutrient levels and is able to respond to them.

The design has a built-in closed-loop nutrient cycle which achieves self-renewal: food
scraps are added to the compost side; this compost feeds the crop; plant left-overs,
after harvesting and consumption, are added to the compost which in turn feeds the
next generation of the plant.

The system is resilient in that it performs multiple functions that are at once separate yet
integrated. Modularity brings decentralization to the design, as it performs its various
functions in as many instances as the user desires. Finally, different stages of nutrients and
their distribution bring about variation to the design.

Table 3: Life Principles


Evaluation Chart: Adapt
to Changing Conditions.

89

Be Locally Attuned and Responsive

Modularity and Structure

Leverage Cyclic Processes

Water Cycle and Solar Orientation

Use Readily Available Materials and


Energy

Materiality and Energy Processes

Use Feedback Loops

Transfer of Nutrients

Cultivate Cooperative Relationships

Plant Selection and Community Impact

90

Our design adapts to an urban environment where horizontal space is limited by using
vertical space.

The product makes use of, but may not completely rely on, the water released during the
compost decomposition and plant transpiration. Because the product is meant to both
compost and grow plants, it needs to be placed near an east- or south-facing window
to access the most sunlight. Plant health will ultimately rely on the correct orientation and
the utilization of solar energy.

The materials used to construct the product will be locally sourced and as recyclable as
possible. The system uses a small implementation of human power to grind the compost,
the laws of gravity and naturally ocurring pressure for transport and distribution, and plant
biology for water and nutrient management.

Nutrients flow from the compost into the sphagnum moss where the plant grows. Scraps
from the plant (after consumption) are added back into the compost, and recycled
again and again. This process creates a cyclical system within the design, which can be
observed and adjusted based on the demands of the users and community.

The combination of plants we use will complement each other to successfully apply the
concept of stratifying nutrients. The design is relatively simple to use and implement at
a larger scale, allowing it to serve as a tool for teaching its user about reusing his/her
waste in order to reintroduce nutrients to plants he/she will eventually consume. The
live plants help clean the air and thrive off of the users compost as they grow.

Table 4: Life Principles


Evaluation Chart: Be Locally
Attuned and Responsive

91

Use Life-Friendly Chemistry

Natural Processes

Break Down Products into Benign


Constituents

Composting

Build Selectively with a Small Subset


of Elements

Phases and Subsystems

Do Chemistry in Water

Water Diluter

92

The design relies solely on natural processes and involves no artificial components or
processes.

One of the main functions our design performs is breaking down food scraps that would
normally go to a landfill and convert them into readily usable compost mash.

The design has been assembled in the most elegant form possible. It carries out very
specific functions by utilizing unexpectedly simple processes. There are, however, several
components of the design that could be further refined, such as the duckweed system
for cleaning water and the regulation of water that the different plant species need in
order to thrive.

Water is used as a vehicle for moving nutrients from compost to plants.

Table 5: Life Principles


Evaluation Chart: Use
Life-Friendly Chemistry

93

Be Resource Efficient (Material and


Energy)

Energy and Materials Used

Use Low Energy Processes

Water and Nutrient Transportation

Use Multi-Functional Design

Basis of Design

Recycle all Materials

Inputs and Outputs

Fit Form to Function

Shape of Design

94

Energy-wise, the design is very efficient, because it does not require external energy
supply.

The design incorporates a passive form of water and nutrient transportion inspired by
aqueducts in the bamboo plant, and how water is naturally transferred through osmosis
from an area of less concentrated solutes to a higher concentration of solutes.

In nature every system is related and codependent. Mirroring this, the design brings
both decomposing and growing of food together into one structure unlike growers and
composters which serve only one purpose.

Working in a closed loop is at the crux of the design. The composter takes food scraps
that would otherwise be condemned to the landfill, and creates compost that directly
feeds the plants being grown. Water travels from the compost side to the plant, as well,
to ensure the most efficient use and reuse of water.

This is a life principle that has been taken very seriously in the design. Major examples
of fitting form to function guided our decisions to integrate bamboo and elephants as
champion organisms for the design. The bamboo was specifically chosen because of its
modularity and efficiency at transporting nutrients through its inner walls. elephant teeth
were chosen because as the largest land mammals their teeth have to be exceptional
at grinding plant material to obtain most of the nutrients embedded in the food source.
Table 6: Life Principles
Evaluation Chart: Be
Resource Efficient

95

Integrate Development with


Growth

Modularity

Self-Organize

Water and Compost

Build from the Bottom-Up

Design Components

Combine Modular and Nested


Components

Compartments

96

The design utilizes a modular design which allows it to be added to or subtracted from
depending on the need. Each module is independent of one another, meaning they
can operate as smaller, individual units or combined to create a larger, fully functioning
system.

Once added to the stratification system, these elements interact to sustain and enrich
the plants for growth without much more user involvement needed.

The design is assembled component by component, starting at the bottom, with the
empty volume, then the sphagnum moss and plants, duckweed, water, scraps that will
become nutrient mash, and finally the compost grinder.

The design includes compartmentalization of each varying section. Water, compost, &
plants each have their own area where they respectively live. There are also removable
compartments and drawers for extraction and cleaning. Finally, the entire design is
modular and can be as small or as big as the user or community desire.

Table 7: Life Principles


Evaluation Chart:
Integrate Development
with Growth

97

Evolve to Survive

User ability to provide food

Replicate Strategies that Work

Form, process, systems

Integrate the Unexpected

Grinding mechanism and varying functions

Reshuffle Information

User operated transfer of compost


nutrients to various plants in the design

98

Our design allows the user to take food into their own hands by making it easier and
more accesible to grow their own produce. By utylizing this design, users can provide
themselves with sustenance and lessen their susceptibility to external economic
nfluences, dependency on grocery store availability and market prices.

By looking to champion organisms for as many design choices as we could, we ensured


that the design replicated as many forms, processes, and systems in nature as it could.
The overall design follows the structures and transportation channels of bamboo,
the grinder component mirrors elephants teeth, duckweed is used for its cleaning
properties, and the stratification of nutrients emulates that of the rainforest.

For large pieces of compost that may take longer to break down naturally, the
grinding mechanism allows for smaller particle break down, which helps speed up the
decomposition process. Additionally, composters and growers usually serve one specific
purpose only, but our design combines composting with the growing of food in a single
unit to provide an entire life cycle.

The design allows for compost nutrients to move to each area of plant/vegetable growth
with the incorporation of a user operated system. Although information isnt necessarily
being transferred, nutrients are. We utilize forms, processes, systems, and entire organisms
that have never been combined before to create a complex yet completely intuitive
solution for our design statement.

Table 8: Life Principles Evaluation


Chart:Evolve to Survive

99

Appendices

100

Figure 71: Heart of Palm, Authors Image

101

Appendix A

iSite excersizes from excursion trips.

iSite 1: Organism Adaptation

Figure 72: Illustration of


pneumatophore in Greys Reef
Sanctuary. Authors Image.

102

Sketch Instructions

In your iSite focus on one organism to which you really related. How
has your organism adapted to its environment? What do you think
its predators and prey are? What niche does it fulfill? How does your
organism adapt daily to changes in its environment? What are those
daily changes? How has the organism adapted to those changes
to survive and thrive? Sketch your observations and include biotic
and abiotic factors, predator and prey. Depict its functions and
adaptations as best you can.

Date

10/03/15

Location

Skidaway, Greys Reef Sanctuary

Focus/Purpose

Observe the relationship of organisms within an ecosystem and how


they are connected.

Observations

Pneumatophore
Hollow insides allow the structure to store air, support the plant, and
allow plants to breath in moist air. Pores can be discovered that allow
the plant to obtain nutrients and air.

Reflections

Pneumatophore - having a special root system plays into the


development of the tree. The roots play several roles in the trees
life including supporting structure, storing air/water in hollow inside,
spreading around to expand the surface area that enables bringing in
more nutrition for the main tree.

103

iSite 2: Seated Observation

Figure 73: Illustration of ants working


together to transport an acorn.
Authors Image.

104

Sketch Instructions

Find a natural area away from others to observe everything around


you over the next half hour. Do not write or sketch, simply observe.
Eventually focus your attention on one organism or a group of
organisms interacting with their immediate environment. Focused
observation is a powerful skill and will reveal the most surprising things
if you stay on task. On one such Seated Observation a child held a
branch in hopes a bird would land on it and it did! The child wanted
to be the branch and she was. After 30 minutes have passed, please
make your sketch and record your observations.

Date

10/07/15

Location

Walden Lake

Focus/Purpose

Animals Food Transportation

Observations

Ants move together around the acorn.


They arrange in a line to pull each others rear legs.
New ants come into the group continuosly to take the place of ants
that have been working for a while.

Reflections

Pulling/dragging activity seems to take a lot of effort but the way the
ants deal with it seems to save energy.
The organization of ants is very efficient.
How could they share information in order to work like they are all
being controlled by one mind.

105

iSite 3: Organism Function

Figure 74: Illustration of


butterflys flight pattern and sin
wave. Authors Image.

106

Sketch Instructions

Go for a walk downtown, around your apartment, along a river or


stream, in a park, anywhere and find one organism that fascinates
you. It may take a while to find something on which to focus but
dont rush this exercise. Letting things happen and flow around you is
a powerful skill in observing life. When you find your focus of interest,
observe its immediate surroundings and then how its immediate
surroundings connect to its larger scale surroundings. How does your
organism survive and thrive? Is it camouflaged? How does it conform
to its habitat or not? What do you think its predators and prey are?
What niche does it fulfill? Sketch your observations and include biotic
and abiotic factors, predator, prey and its function.

Date

10/01/15

Location

Forsyth Park

Focus/Purpose

Understanding the flight path of a butterfly.

Observations

The flight path of a butterfly is like a sin wave.


They flap their wings at different frequencies during the process.
They only flap their wings when they are rising up.

Reflections

Energy saving movement


Taking the effects of gravity to glide as to only exert effort when rising
in elevation.
Flapping wing flight is an ideal flight method for future technologies.

107

iSite 4: Leap to Innovation

Figure 75: Illustration of pinecone


structure embedded in tent
protective system. Authors Image.

108

Sketch Instructions

Sketch the life cycle of this iSite as we investigated and


observed it. Begin with one organism, plant, or animal,
showing its connectivity to other organisms. Include biotic and
abiotic factors, predators and prey, and shelter. Draw your
interpretation as expansive as your imagination leads.

Date

10/31/15

Location

Forsyth Park

Focus/Purpose

Organism Function

Observations

Pine cone has very sharp points on spine of fruit shell which
prevents squirrels from eating their fruits. The spine is a variation
of leafs.

Reflections

We can take the function of the pine cone spike structure and
apply it to a prevention design. Introducing the innovation
into a beast prevention design for a tent so the design
protects the occupants from beast attacks.

109

iSite 5: Connectivity

Figure 76: Illustration of


geraniums response to
mosquito bite. Authors Image.

110

Sketch Instructions

Sketch the life cycle of this iSite as investigated and observed. Begin
with one organism, plant or animal, showing its connectivity to other
organisms. Include biotic and abiotic factors, predators and prey and
shelter. Draw your interpretation as expansively as your imagination
leads.

Date

10/14//15

Location
Back Yard

Focus/Purpose
Connectivity iSite

Observations

I saw a mosquito land on the stem of a geranium and take a bite. The
same situation happened to me too. Then after 15 minutes I found
that there were no more mosquitos around me and the geranium.
The geranium emitted and aroma after being bitten which drove the
mosquitos far away.

Reflections

The responsive feed back mechanism helps the geranium create


an environment that benefits itself. It also provides benefits to other
creatures (human/plants) by driving away pesky bugs. We can use this
mechanism in pest control.

111

iSite 6: Designer Client


Communication

Figure 77: Illustration of Iris


plant structure attracting bees.
Authors Image.

112

Sketch Instructions

Sketch the life cycle of this iSite as perceived from your partners point of
view. Begin with one organism, plant, or animal, showing its connectivity
to other organisms. Include biotic and abiotic factors, predators
and prey, and shelter. Focus on listening and visually describing your
interpretation as expansive as your imagination leads.

Date

09/17/15

Location
Balcony

Focus/Purpose

Study how plant structure can affect other organisms.

Observations

The strucure of the Iris plant looks like a road. This attracts bees to enter
the flower deeply which takes the bee past an area full of pollen before
gathering the honey.

Reflections

The Iris combines multiple functions within one structure which allows
them to finish pollination. As long as attracting bees, the effective
strategy enables them to survive and multiply rapidly.

113

iSite 7: Niche in a System

Figure 78: Illustration of Sweet


Gum Tree and Seed. Authors
Image.

114

Sketch Instructions

Sketch the life cycle of this iSite as we investigated and observed it.
Begin with one organism, plant, or animal, showing its connectivity
to other organisms. Include biotic and abiotic factors, predators
and prey, and shelter. Draw your interpretation as expansive as your
imagination leads.

Date

10/20/15

Location

Jones Street

Focus/Purpose

Organism Function

Observations

The structure of the sweet gum fruit shell can hold as many as 50
seeds in one pod. Birds come to eat seeds from the fruit that have
fallen on the ground. The spiked fruits can prevent large animals from
swallowing them but give birds the opportunity to carry them in their
stomach to be excreted as seed transmission.

Reflections

We can use this stucture in a situation when we need to protect things


from large threats but provide opportunities for small transmitors. This
would make it easy to contain important things in large, aggressive
structures.

115

Appendix B
The rest of the function cards
completed by the class

116

Figure 79: Camelia Flower.


Authors Image.

117

118

ALPACA (Vicugna pacos)


Function: To regulate metabolism to conserve nutrients in a cold alpine environment.
Strategy: Alpacas have long, thick, wooly coats which enable them to better regulate their
metabolism (Chisolm 1911).
Mechanism: The thick coat allows the alpaca to regulate metabolism, and conserve heat
and nutrients in both warm and cold temperatures. The wool coat provides warmth, but
prevents the alpaca from overheating in warmer months, and ensures that the alpaca
metabolizing food at a consistent, appropriate rate, allowing it to survive and thrive efficiently
in all climates.
Design Principle: Our design must conserve nutrients under various temperatures, so that our
design can be used during all times of the year.

Fur
Fat Layer
Protection from cold temperatures

Dro, J. (2007, June 26). Unshorn alpaca grazing. [digital image]. Retrieved from https://
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Unshorn_alpaca_grazing.jpg
Chisholm, H. (1911). Alpaca. In Encyclopdia Britannica Volume 1.

119

120

ARCTIC FOX (Vulpes lagopus)


Function: To conserve nutrients in a cold arctic environment.
Strategy: Conserving heat and regulating metabolism through the evolution of smaller
extremities (Prestrud, 1991).
Mechanism: The arctic fox has evolved to have a low surface area to volume ratio,
with small ears, muzzle, and tail, and a small body with a high fat content, to conserve
heat. Smaller extremities prevent heat from escaping the body, preserving the foxs
metabolism, ensuring that most heat is preserved for the vital organs. Because of their
temperature regulation and high fat content, they can regulate their digestion and
survive longer
periods of time without requiring another food source, since food is often scarce in the
arctic.
Design Principle: Our design must regulate nutrient use, so that there is little to no
nutrient loss.

Algkalv. (2010, February 22). Terianniaq qaqortaq (Arctic Fox) [digital image]. Retrieved
from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Terianniaq-Qaqortaq-arctic-fox.jpgthttps://
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Terianniaq-Qaqortaq-arctic-fox.jpg
Prestrud, P. (1991, June). Adaptations by the Arctic Fox to the Polar Winter. Retrieved from
http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/arctic44-2-132.pdfhttp://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/
arctic/arctic44-2-132.pdf

121

122

BANANA TREE (Musa)


Function: To absorb potassium.
Strategy: Absorbing potassium through osmosis (Athiamoorthy and Jeyabaskaran, n.d.) .
Mechanism: The banana tree is naturally more acidic than most other plants, so it absorbs
potassium to enable it to grow and produce edible fruit, while also removing the potassium
that most other plants dont need, enabling them to grow. Because the tree is naturally more
acidic it absorbs the potassium, which is a base, more readily than other plants. Minerals such
as potassium are dissolved into the soil. Root hair cells absorb water, to hydrate the plant,
but also contain carrier molecules, which pick up on minerals and absorb them into the
root hair cells, beginning the process of providing nutrients for the plant. From the root hair
cells, the nutrients and water travel from the root hair cells, into the greater root system, and
throughout the entire plant, eventually reaching the leaves and fruits. Water and nutrients
travel through a xylem, through osmosis, traveling from water-rich and nutrient-rich areas of
the plant, to water-deficient and nutrient deficient parts.
Design Principle: Our design must enable nutrient absorption throughout the plant, so that the
plant is healthy and nutritious for human consumption.

Cooper, C. (2008, April 11). Punta Cana Banana Tree [digital image]. Retrieved from
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Punta_Cana_banana_tree.jpg
Athiamoorthy, S.S. AND Jeyabaskaran, K.J. :. (n.d.). Potassium Management of Banana.
Retrieved from http://www.ipipotash.org/udocs/Potassium%20Management%20of%20
Banana.pdf

123

124

BLACK CORAL (Antipathes)


Function: To provide structural strength.
Strategy: Black coral creates a strong exterior shell though an internal chemical process.
Mechanism: Black coral has an exterior shell that is strong due to the weak bond of chitin
strands with strong crosslinked proteins. Black corals form a structural framework of a
carbohydrate polymer (chitin) in strands. The strands are connected adjacently through
weak hydrogen bonds that produce a foundation for which strong proteins attach. The
tight bond hardens the composite material of the structural framework. This application is
different for the different types of species of black coral to protect itself.
Design Principle: Our design must have a strong external structure.

Water is absorbed
through roots

Dupont, B. (2012, November 30). Black coral [Digital image]. Retrieved October 12, 2015,
from http://www.asknature.org/strategy/b5e6cf826cbea829a5e5d6ebee580027
Biopolymer composites prevent structural failure: Black coral, (n.d.). Retrieved October
10, 2015, from http://www.asknature.org/strategy/b5e6cf826cbea829a5e5d6ebee580027

125

126

Bull Kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana)


Function: To maintain physical integrity while managing the structural forces that naturally
occur.
Strategy: The haptera [roots] has adapted to the high-energy system by incorporating
flexibility and by allowing for the rotation of the base.
Mechanism: The holdfast uses a flexible network of root-like haptera or anchors to attach
the kelp to the ocean floor. By being flexible the haptera allow the kelps base to rotate
slightly, thus providing some protection from the high torque created by waves (The
Biomimicry Institute, n.d.).
Design Principle: Our design must utilize flexible yet strong, so that it creates a structure
suitable in areas of high winds, unstable ground, or underwater.

Furrugia, T. (Photographer). (2014, January 16). California Kelp Forest [digital image].
Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/2014/jan/16/science/la-sci-sn-fukushima-kelpwatch-20140116
The Biomimicry Institute (n.d.). Anchor Has Flexibility: Bull Kelp. Retrieved from
http://www.asknature.org/strategy/92473fa53a6fa3e64ca6740ec10703f1

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BRACKEN (Pteridinium)
Function: To self-sustain, reproduce, and disperse by wind.
Strategy: Asexual reproduction and wind dispersal of spores to achieve habitat dominance.
Mechanism: Bracken ferns are vascular plants, which reproduce sexually as well as asexually
through spores. Sori located on the underside of the ferns fronds produce spores that are
dispersed by wind. This allows the spores to be widely distributed and ultimately dominate
new areas. Bracken ferns are well adapted to fire and are the first plants to reappear after a
forest or prairie fire because of wind dispersal (UWLAX, 2007).
Design Principle: Our design must utilize efficient reproductive and dispersal methods, so that
it can be self-sustaining.

Warner, Chuck (Photographer). (2015). Bracken Fern. Retrieved from http://www.fs.fed.


us/wildflowers/regions/eastern/AuTrainSongbirdTrail/images/brackenfern_lg.jpg
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. (2007). Bracken Fern. Retrieved from
https://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2013/schaefer_rach/adaptation.html

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BUMBLEBEE (Bombus)
Function: To store pollen in the corbicula in high volume
Strategy: Bees use the corbicula (a part of the tibia on their hind legs) in harvesting pollen
and returning it to the nest or hive.
Mechanism: As female bumblebees move from flower to flower pollen sticks to their
body hair and in turn coalesces into one mass, which she then stores in her corbicula. The
corbicula is a polished cavity surrounded by a fringe of hairs into which the
bee stores the pollen. A bumblebee moistens her forelegs with a protruding tongue and
brushes the pollen that has collected on her head, body and forward appendages to
the hind legs. The pollen is transferred to the pollen comb on the hind legs and then
combed, pressed, compacted, and transferred to the corbicula on the outside surface
of the tibia of the hind legs
Design Principle: Our design must incorporate how bees make use of the corbicula, so
that powdery food can be stored and
transported efficiently.

Muhammad Mahdi Karim. Apis mellifera flying [digital image]. Retrieved from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollen_basket#/media/File:Apis_mellifera_flying.jpg
Muhammad Mahdi Karim. Apis mellifera flying [digital image]. Retrieved from https://
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollen_basket#/media/File:Apis_mellifera_flying.jpg

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CAMEL (Camelus)
Function: To conserve nutrients for very long periods of time.
Strategy: Storing nutrients through excess fat cells (Vann Jones, 2008).
Mechanism: Because camels have a high body fat percentage, they can survive
without finding a food source for some time, by breaking down their excess fat cells
and metabolizing them. Fat cells are the first cells in the body that are metabolized if the
body doesnt intake enough calories, and because the camel can survive without the
excess fat, they can survive for a long time solely by breaking down their fat cells.
Design Principle: Our design must retain nutrients for long periods of time, so that food
can be stored for later use.

ONeill, J. (2007, July 7). Camel Profile Near Silverton, NSW [digital image]. Retrieved from
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:07._Camel_Profile,_near_Silverton,_NSW,_07.07
.2007.jpg
Vann Jones, K. (2008, January 7). What Secrets Lie Within The Camels Hump? Retrieved
from http://www.djur.cob.lu.se/Djurartiklar/Kamel.html

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CARIBOU (Rangifer tarandus)


Function: To thermoregulate breathing air
Strategy: The Caribou can change the temperature of cold air to breathe easier.
Mechanism: Nasoturbinal bones are curled thin bones in the nose that support thin
tissues, that are richly supplied with blood vessels to warm icy air when breathed
in before it reaches the lungs. The incoming cold and therefore very dry air is also
moistened before it reaches the lungs. The nasoturbinals help to recover this moisture
again on the way out.
Design Principles: Our design must change the temperature with internal mechanics so
that it is a reliable and adaptable process.

Jones, Donald M. Caribou. Digital image. Donaldmjones.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Oct.
2015. <http://www.donaldmjones.com/index-.php#mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=0&p=9&a=0
&at=0>.
Ward, Paul. Arctic Reindeer / Caribou Facts and Adaptations. Collantartica.com. N.p.,
2011. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.<http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/
wildlife/Arctic_animals/arctic-reindeer-caribou.php>.

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Chamise (Adenostoma
Fasciculatum)
Function: To ensure regeneration and resilience after fire
Strategy: Chamise ensures regeneration after fires by, most notably, producing
underground basal burls.
Mechanism: Chamise ensures its survival and regeneration in its uniquely harsh
environmentby producing readily germinable seeds, dormant seeds that require fire
as a catalyst for germination, and underground basal burls that contain dormant buds
ready to re-sprout after a fire. (Friesen)
Design Principle: Our design must ensure regeneration, resilience, and survival by
incorporating redundancy and variation within its system.

Jones, Donald M. Caribou.[Digital image.] Donaldmjones.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Oct.


2015. <http://www.donaldmjones.com/index-.php#mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=0&p=9&a=0
&at=0>.
Sources: Friesen, L. [2010] Fire Ecology and the Chaparral Retrieved from http://www.
biosbcc.net/b100plant/htm/fire.htm

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Coniferous Forest
Function: To thermo-regulate the eco-system.
Strategy: Growth and maintenance of dense overhead cover regulate the eco-system.
Mechanism: Multiple layers of organisms within a coniferous forest assist in balancing
and regulating temperature in order to aid growth. Coniferous forests are made up of
two main layers. The over story contains the larger tree varieties while the understory
layer consists of grasslands, shrubs, mosses, ferns and perennial plants. The over story
trees grow high to provide a consistent density of canopy which allows for ample shade
for the understory. The canopy creates the dark, yet warm, environment the understory
needs for the optimal decomposition process that directs nutrients to flow through the
system.
Design Principle: Our design must consistently regulate and balance temperature for the
continuous circulation of nutrients.

Multiple layers of organisms


regulate temperature

LIG
HT

Dense canopy
provides ample
shade for
under-story

Book, Ed. Coniferous Forest Gifford Pinchot NF. Digital image. Tamarack Trees Stand out
in a Coniferous Forest. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2015. <http://edbookphoto.photoshelter.
com/image/I0000Vuyx1B.lEcc>.
Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. (2015) Coniferous Forest
Description. Retrieved from http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/coniferous_description.html

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CORAL POLYP (Anthozoa)


Function: To use excess nutrients to build up coral reefs.
Strategy: Deposit calcium carbonate throughout the reproductive cycle (NOAA, 2015).
Mechanism: Coral polyps are very tiny organisms which reproduce asexually at an
exponential rate. Over several generations, the polyps begin to form large colonies,
and attach themselves to the skeletons of deceased coral polyps. These polyps build
up a coral reef, which is home to a diverse range of plants and animals. Coral polyps
rapidly reproduce, building up colonies very quickly. Additionally, they deposit calcium
carbonate, which is the key component of building up a coral reef. They take in mineral
nutrients found in the ocean, and convert them to calcium carbonate, which they
deposit, and which last nearly indefinitely.
Design Principle: Our design must make productive use of excess nutrients, so that food
and nutrients are not wasted.

Montanus, S. White Finger Leather (lobophytum Compactum) Coral Polyps.


[Digital image]. Ximaged White Finger Leather Lobophytum Compactum Coral
Polyps Comments. N.p., 4 Nov. 2009. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. <http://www.ximaged.
com/2009/11/04/white-finger-leather-lobophytum-compactum-coral-polyps-2/>.
NOAA. (2015, April 25). Coral Feeding Habits. Retrieved from http://coralreef.noaa.gov/
aboutcorals/coral101/feedinghabits/

141

Ahmadi, S. (Photographer). (2013, May 3). Salicornia [digital image].


Retrieved from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salicornia#/media/File:1Salicornia_
europaea.jpg
142

Common Glasswort (Salicornia


europaea)
Function: To evaluate, store, and transport contaminants.
Strategy: Absorb contaminants through the root system and store them in the root
biomass and/or transport them up into the stems and/or leaves.
Mechanism: The roots of the glasswort assist in counteracting erosion in salt marshes by
immobilizing the pollutants by adsorbing or accumulating them and providing a zone
around the roots where the pollutant can precipitate and stabilize (Save the Bay, 1998).
Design Principle: Our design must facilitate a tsystem that immobilizes and accumulates
pollutants, so that they are moved to a zoned area of a safe distance.

Absorbed
Zoned
Ahmadi, S. (Photographer). (2013, May 3). Salicornia [digital image]. Retrieved from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salicornia#/media/File:1Salicornia_europaea.jpg
Save the Bay (1998). The Uncommon Guide to Common Life on Narragansett Bay.
Retrieved from http://www.edc.uri.edu/restoration/html/gallery/plants/glass.html

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CONIFEROUS TREES (Pinophyta)


Function: To absorb sunlight.
Strategy: Coniferous trees optimize sunlight absorption, within a boreal environment, for
the purpose of photosynthesis.
Mechanism: The triangular shaped needles provide additional surface area that
increases absorption of sunlight. Conifers grow up instead of out which helps them
receive more sunlight. The narrow conical shape of conifers along with their drooping
downward limbs help shed snow (National Geographic, 2015).
Design Principle: Our design must be shaped to allow for greatest absorption and
utilization of sunlight, so that it produces adequate nutrients for energy.

National Geographic. (2015). Taiga: Boreal Forest. Retrieved from http://education


nationalgeographic.com/encyclopedia/taiga/
Ling, Yi (Photographer). (2013). [Digital Image]. Temperate Coniferous Forests.
Retrieved from http://www.glogster.com/yilingng/temeperate-coniferous-forest-/g6l1910qa344ulhs78q580a0

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CYANOBACTERIA
(Cylindrospermopsis)
Function: To form and stabilize the soils (not losing nutrients unnecessarily)
Strategy: Cyanobacteria stabilizes the soil by sending mycelia through the soil and rock
forming an intricate web of fibers which, in turn, join the loose particles of soil together.
Mechanism: When rare moisture is received (functioning as a catalyst), the
cyanobacteria become active, swelling in size, and expand through the soil leaving a
trail of sticky material along the way. This binding sheath material forms an intricate fiber
web through the soil. Loose particles of soil are bound together and an unstable land
surface becomes very resistant to water and wind erosion. This binding of the soil surface
does not depend on living filaments. When wetted, the polysaccharide sheaths swell
and the filaments within are mechanically extruded from the sheath.
Design Principle: Our design must incorporate a binder mechanism so that loose material
stays in the system where it is needed.

United States Geological Survey. Biological Soil Crust [digital


image]. Retrieved from http://www.nps.gov/media/photo/
gallery.htm?id=26897FD6-155D-451F-6754BA8DC04E2329
Jayne Belnap, Otto L. Lange. Biological Soil Crusts:
Structure, Function, and Management. Springer Science &
BusinessMedia, 2013. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/

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Deciduous Forest
Function: To adapt to seasonal changes.
Strategy: The forest regulates nutrient consumption despite environmental changes.
Mechanism: Plants and animals of a deciduous forest adapt to live and grow successfully
in spite of seasonal environmental changes. Deciduous forests are located in areas that
go through four seasons of weather. The trees change colors with the seasons and prioritize
nutrient consumption during the warmer months to be able to survive during the winter.
Similarly, animals in this forest typically hibernate in the winter by consuming large amounts of
food during the summer. These animals have also adapted to camouflage themselves to look
like the ground and surrounding plants so they are not hunted during the seasonal changes.
Design Principle: Our design must have adaptable nutrient consumption.

Nowtech120. Deciduous Forest. Digital image. Deciduous Forest. Linkedin Slideshare,


4 Jan. 2014. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. <http://www.slideshare.net/nowtech120/deciduousforest-35486430>.
Source: Woodward, S. (2012) Biomes of the World: Temperate Broadleaf Deciduous
Forest. Retrieved from: https://php.radford.edu/~swoodwar/biomes/?page_id=94

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Diamondback Terrapin
(Malaclemys terrapin)
Function: To monitor and secrete high levels of salinity.
Strategy: The lacrimal gland of the diamond back maintains salt balance and allows
marine vertebrates to drink seawater.
Mechanism: Lacrimal glands contain secretory tubules that radiate outward from the
excretory canal at the center. Secretory tubules are lined with a single layer of epithelial
cells. Active transport via sodium-potassium pump, found on the basolateral membrane,
action moves salt from the blood into the gland (Rick OConnor Sea Grant Extension
Agent, 2012). The excess salt is then excreted as a concentrated solution.
Design Principle: Our design must identify and excrete excessive amounts of unwanted
material, so that it prevents complications.

Germiak, A. (Photographer). (2007, July 17). The Diamondback Terrapin [digital image].
Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/pov/chancesoftheworld/film_description.php
Rick OConnor Sea Grant Extension Agent (2012, November 30). Diamonds in the Marsh.
Retrieved from http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/marine/2012/11/30/diamonds-in-the-marsh/

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152

DUCK WEED (Family


Lemnaceae)
Function: To manage amount of oxygen and other chemicals in the water.
Strategy: Duckweed grows on the surface of still or slow moving water absorbing
nutrients, blocking sunlight and minimizing evaporation.
Mechanism: Duckweed is a little green sphere of with no stems or leaves and very few
roots. It grows on the surface of the water shading everything beneath. Other oxygen
depleting plants such as algae cannot grow abundantly due to the restricted access
to sunlight. By shading the surface of the water, duckweed also keeps the temperature
cotol allowing for more dissolved oxygen to remain in the water and minimizing
evaporation. It manages other chemicals as well through absorption such as nitrogen
and some greenhouse gases (Tomlinson, P. B. 2006).
Design Principle: Our design must absorb and release vital chemicals, so that its
environment is balanced.

Reduced light
keeps temperature
of water low

Restricted light stops


oxygen depleting
plants from growing

Germiak, A. (Photographer). (2007, July 17). The Diamondback Terrapin [digital image].
Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/pov/chancesoftheworld/film_description.php
Sources: TOMLINSON, P. B. (2006). The uniqueness of palms.Botanical Journal of the
Linnean Society,151(1), 5-14. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2006.00520.x

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Forest (Silva)
Function: To harness solar energy and transforms it into oxygen.
Strategy: Through the process of photosynthesis, the forest utilizes solar energy to release
oxygen.
Mechanism: Water is absorbed by the roots of green plants and is carried to the leaves
by the xylem, and carbon dioxide is obtained from air that enters the leaves through the
stomata and diffuses into the cells containing chlorophyll which then starts the process of
photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the production of sugar that is produced in the leaves
when the sun shines on them, and then taken up by the rest of the plant, the xylem is the
uptake conduit for nutrient and water transport and phloem is transport downwards to
the roots happening underneath the bark) .The outcomes of photosynthesis is the release
of oxygen (which is a byproduct of this process).
Design Principle: Our design must lead to a complete nutritional cycle.

Fuller, T. (2008-2015). Photosynthesis in plants converts solar energy to chemical


energy by splitting water to release hydrogen [digital image]. Retrieved from http://
www.asknature.org/strategy/ee4e268a5a0fe3861f6d1f5ae
National Geographic. (2015). Taiga: Boreal Forest. Retrieved from http://education.
nationalgeographic.com/encyclopedia/taiga/

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156

GOLDEN JACKAL (Canis


aureus)
Function: To utilize varied nutrient sources
Strategy: Jackals practice opportunistic feeding as a means of survival.
Mechanism: Golden Jackals will access any food that is available in their environment:
they will eat small ungulates, rodents, hares, ground birds, eggs, reptiles, frogs, fish,
insect, and fruit. Golden Jackals will both hunt, and eat carrion, and in specific
circumstances will even establish relationships with other species to attain their food.
Design Principle: Our design must access and utilize different food sources as available
locally so that it can be adaptable, efficient, and scalable in different environments.

Eggs

Fish
Opportunistic Feeding

The jackal access any food that


is available in their environment.

Insects

Fuller, T. (2008-2015). Photosynthesis in plants converts solar energy to chemical energy by


splitting water to release hydrogen [digital image]. Retrieved from http://www.asknature.
org/strategy/ee4e268a5a0fe3861f6d1f5ae
Sources: Ivory, A. 1999. Canis aureus (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed
October 12, 2015 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Canis_aureus/

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GREAT BURDOCK (Arctium


lappa)
Function: To distribute seed
Strategy: Burdock attaches itself to other organisms to spread and distribute its seed in a
passive manner.
Mechanism: There are hooks on the ripe seed of Burdock, which allow it to easily attach
to wooly coats. The seed is resistant enough to withstand this voyage and land in fertile
soils where it can flourish.
Design Principle: Our design must utilize existing modes of transportation to achieve
efficient and passive distribution of nutrients.

Hook Mechanism

Ford, D. (2007, July 23). Burdock [digital image]. Retrieved from


http://postaldeliveries.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/burdock-2013-07-20-3648x2736.png
Hooks Adhere to Wooly Coats Retrieved from http://www.asknature.org/
strategy/0135bcaf513248edab2e7e49d9049590

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160

Ice Worm (Mesenchytraeus


solifugus)
Function: To physically adapt to extreme climate.
Strategy: The outer membrane of the organism has evolved to resist freezing through the
secretion of proteins similar to the properties of anti-freeze.
Mechanism: The enzymes in ice worms have very low optimal temperatures, and can
be denatured at even a few degrees above 0C (32F). When ice worms are exposed
to temperatures as high as 5C (41F), their membrane structures disassociate and fall
apart and melt causing the worm itself to liquefy and subsequently parish (Pelto, 2013).
Design Principle: Our design must adjust to high and low temperatures, so that it is
protected from extreme changes in climate.

Oliver, G. (Photographer). N.d. Portage Glacier Ice Worm [digital image]. Retrieved from
http://www.alaska-in-pictures.com/portage-glacier-ice-worms-1666-pictures.htm
Pelto, Mauri S. (2013, December 06). North Cascade Glacier Climate Project. Retrieved
from https://www.nichols.edu/departments/glacier/iceworm.htm

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ICE ALGAE (Mesotaenium


berggrenii and Ancylonema
nordensskildii.)
Function: To grow under the ice serving as a habitat and food source for fish.
Strategy: Algae uses photosynthesis to create nutrition in their physical forms creating
nutrition for primary and secondary consumers.
Mechanism: Algae pulls in nutrients from the water and from the sunlight coming through
the ice. It also uses the ice as a structure to growt on in turn providing a both habitat and
food source for fish. It is the very foundation of the Arctic food chain (Thomas, D. N., &
Dieckmann, G. S. 2002).
Design Principle: Our design must create sources of nutrients that can support whole
systems, so that it is self sufficient.

Munroe, D. (2011, March 11). National Geographic News [digital image]. Retrieved from
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/02/110228-antarctica-green-algaebloom-global-warming-science-environment/
Sources: Thomas, D. N., & Dieckmann, G. S. (2002). Antarctic sea ice--a habitat for
extremophiles.Science,295(5555), 641-644. doi:10.1126/science.1063391

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LARVAL JEWEL BEETLE


(Buprestidae)
Function: To produce hard structure.
Strategy: Larval jewel beetle through bio-mineralization create hard mandibles from soft
compound.
Mechanism: The mandible (cuticle) is composed of chitin (a fibrous phase of crystalline
nano-fibrils) and proteins (sleeve and crosslink the fibrils). These properties cause the
mandible to harden and stiffen, also from the presence of calcium salts, which is
known to be brittle and have a nonmetal correlation to metal. This is referred to as
bio-mineralization, which is an incorporation of transition metals that are not necessarily
metal.
Design Principal: Our design must be able to use available materials or compounds to
create strong hard structure.

Rom, J. (2009, July 24). Anthaxia nitidula [Digital image]. Retrieved October 12, 2015,
from http://eol.org/data_objects/2003341
Metal-free beaks are strong: Jewel beetle - AskNature. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10,
2015, from http://www.asknature.org/strategy/9489f2cd9a2c6a9e3231292bc2461df1

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166

Mangrove Leaf (Rhizophora


mangle)
Function: To limit the loss of water.
Strategy: Limit the amount of water they lose through their leaves by restricting the opening of
their stomata.
Mechanism: Because of the limited fresh water available in salty intertidal soils, pores on the
leaf surfaces (known as the stomata) exchange carbon dioxide gas and water vapor during
photosynthesis. They also vary the orientation of their leaves to avoid the harsh midday sun
and to reduce evaporation from the leaves (Redland City Council, 2010).
Design Principle: Our design must have adjustable openings, so that it allows or restricts the
movement of nutrients.

Stomata Opening

Low Temperature
High Temperature

Periman, D.L. (Photographer). (2007, July 15). Mangrove Propagule [digital image].
Retrieved from http://www.ecolibrary.org/page/DP4110
Redland City Council (2010). Mangrove Adaptations to Their Environment. Retrieved from
http://indigiscapes.redland.qld.gov.au/Plants/Mangroves/Pages/Adaption.aspx

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Monsoon Forest
Function: To provide nutrients for the entire ecosystem.
Strategy: Monsoon forests are made up of various organisms that aid in the recycling and
provision of nutrients.
Mechanism: The monsoon forest ensures that growth and decay sustain the rest of the
ecosystem. With its vast and diverse collection of plant and animal life, monsoon forests
reflect high productivity due to its adaptation to quick nutrient cycling. The warm, moist
conditions in the forest are ideal for the decomposers breaking down the remains of
dead organisms. This quick decay returns the carbon and oxygen in the decomposing
material to the air, and returns nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium, and other minerals to
the soil. In the soil, the minerals are almost immediately taken up by a thick mat of plant
roots and root like fungi. The fungus supply the plant with minerals and water; the plant
returns sugars to the fungus.
Design Principle: Our design must balance growth and development in the environment.

Carbon
Oxygen

Nitrogen
Phosphorus
Calcium
Decomposing
Plants and Animals
Panorama: Tropical Rainforest Taken by D. Perlman (14 July 2007) Perlman, D. (2007,
July 14). Panorama: Tropical Rainforest [digital image]. Retrieved from http://www.
ecolibrary.org/images/full_image/Tropical_rainforest_with_buttress_roots_and_lianas_N_
Madagascar_DP9005.jpg
Source: Mader, Sylvia S. (1996) Biology, 5th ed. WCB Cox, G.W. (1997) Conservation
Biology, 2nd ed. WCB. Both Retrieved from: https://www.marietta.edu/~biol/102/rainfor.
html#nutrient

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ORIENTAL HORNET (Vespa


Orientalis)
Function: To provide a cooling mechanism
Strategy: Hair structure and wing movement of the oriental hornet create thermal
convention currents for cooling purpose.
Mechanism: The cuticle is composed of thermocouples that transfer heat and become
used as an electrical heat pump. The heat transfer in voltage would be to harvest
metabolism, or solar energy. In the thoracic segment of the worker, males, or queen
bees, the hair takes on a different structure than that on the rest of its body. The
temperature in this region is higher by 6-9 degree Celsius, and beneath the cuticle are
dorsoventral and longitudinal muscles that activate the two wings.
Design Principle: Our design must incorporate a relatively passive cooling mechanism in
optimize energy.

Thorax hairs insulate

Cuticle
transfers
heat

Dorsoventral and
longitudinal muscles
activate wings

Faulwetter, S. (2011, November 06). Oriental hornet [Digital image]. Retrieved October
12, 2015, from http://www.asknature.org/strategy/fc319a532e22219407c36b1a500eaf0c
Cuticle acts as cooling mechanism: Oriental hornet - AskNature. (n.d.).
Retrieved October 10, 2015, from http://www.asknature.org/strategy/
fc319a532e22219407c36b1a500eaf0c

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ORIENTAL HORNET (Vespa


Orientalis)
Function: To generate electrical energy
Strategy: Oriental hornets generate electrical energy though the different rates at which
yellow and brow bands absorb ultraviolet radiation from the sun
Mechanism: The location that hornets choose to work in, and the definition of their
body characteristics all essentially lead to a particular reason of exposing to sunlight.
The reason for coming to contact with direct sunlight is the hornets ability to harvest
solar energy. The banding of the two colors both trap light energy at different intensities.
Properties such as grooves allow rays to funnel into inner layers cuticle (30 cuticle-brown
band) rather than reflect light off, oval shaped bumps (15 cuticle-yellow band) increase
surface area of light absorption. Solar energy is converted into electrical energy which
allows the hornet to maneuver physical activity and temperature regulation. The energy
may also assist in internal body functions such as producing and filtering enzymes and
sugars.
Design Principle: Our design must incorporate different color to generate electrical
energy though varying rates of ultraviolet radiator absorption.

Krejk, S. (2009, July 24). Vespa orientalis [Digital image]. Retrieved October 12, 2015, from
http://eol.org/data_objects/1999959
Photovoltaic pigments harvest solar energy: Oriental hornet ,(n.d.). Retrieved October 10,
2015, from http://www.asknature.org/strategy/9b67f98df667a56bbe0462034a440537

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174

POLAR BEAR (Ursus Maritimus)


Function: To achieve thermal regulation through heat exchange.
Strategy: The hollow core hair follicles reflect light and trap heat.
Mechanism: Each hair shaft is pigment-free and transparent with a hollow core that
scatters and reflects visible light, much like what happens with ice and snow. Polar bears
have black skin under which there is a layer of fat that can measure up to 4.5 inches.
On land the polar bears thick fur coat, not its fat prevents nearly any heat loss. In fact,
adult males can quickly overheat when they run. In the water, polar bears rely more on
their fat layer to keep warm: wet fur is a poor insulator. This is why mother bears are so
reluctant to swim with young cubs in the spring: the cubs just dont have enough fat.
Design Principle: Our design must regulate temperature regardless of external elements
so that it can insulate internal mechanisms.

Cooper, Megan. Polar Bear, Spitsbergen, Norway. [Digital image].Jamonkey.com. N.p., 8


Jan. 2013. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
Beck, Dick, and Val Beck. Fur and Skin. Polar Bears International. N.p., 16 Jan. 2014.
Web. 11 Oct. 2015. <http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/about-polar-bears/
essentials/fur-and-skin>.

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PHYTOPLANKTON
Function: To produce its own food and energy.
Strategy: Conversion of energy into food.
Mechanism: Phytoplankton inhabiting well-lit surfaces of freshwater use photosynthesis
to produce energy in the form of life sustaining sugars. Chloroplasts, known as the food
producers of the cell, convert energy from the sun into sugars. These single celled
organisms also convert inorganic compounds and carbon dioxide that is extracted
directly from the water (NOAA, 2014).
Design Principle: Our design must efficiently utilize sunlight, so that it produces food and
nutrients essential to other organisms.

Unknown. (n.d). Marine Phytoplankton. Retrieved from http://www.


powerpflaster.tv/verschiedene-sections-untereinander-mit/
Ocean Service. (2014, April 29). What Are Phytoplankton? Retrieved from
http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/phyto.html

177

178

RACCOON (Procyon Lotor)


Function: To utilize a large variety of food types.
Strategy: Raccoons are resourceful, sensitive and roam widely which allows them to
gather a large variety of nutrients and adapt to changing conditions quickly.
Mechanism: Being generalist, Raccoons can eat a large variety of foods to fulfill their
nutritional needs. This allows them to adjust to change in conditions quickly and to
survive, even thrive, in many different environments including human cities and towns
(Rulison, E. L., Luiselli, L., & Burke, R. L. 2012).
Design Principle: Our design must utilize a variety of nutritional sources, so that adaption
to changing conditions can happen quickly.

Holser, G. (2015) [digital image]. Retrieved from http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/raccoons.html


Rulison, E. L., Luiselli, L., & Burke, R. L. (2012). Relative impacts of habitat and geography
on raccoon diets.The American Midland Naturalist,168(2), 231-246.

179

180

RIFITIA TUBEWORM (Riftia


pachyptila)
Function: To convert chemicals into nutrients in a sunless chemically saturated
environment.
Strategy: The Rifitia Tubeworms have internal bacteria that perform chemosynthesis,
converting the chemical into nutrients.
Mechanism: Rifitia Tubeworms live on the bottom of the ocean near hydrothermal vents
which release chemicals and minerals originating in the earths core. This chemical soup
would be lethal to other life forms. The tube worm however, uses internal bacteria to
convert chemicals to nutrients.
Design Principle: Our design must convert chemicals from its immediate environment into
nutrients and energy, so that more resources are made available.

Holser, G. (2015) [digital image]. Retrieved from http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/raccoons.html


Sources: Rogers, A. D., Tyler, P. A., Connelly, D. P., Copley, J. T., James, R., Larter, R. D.. .
Zwirglmaier, K. (2012). The discovery of new deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities
in the southern ocean and implications for biogeography.PLoS Biology,10(1), e1001234.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001234

181

182

RED TIPPED TUBE WORMS (Riftia


Pachyptila)
Function: To exchange compounds with the environment.
Strategy: Bacteria converts oxygen, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide into organic
molecules so the host worm can feed.
Mechanism: The tube worm relies on bacteria in their habitat to oxidize hydrogen sulfide,
using dissolved oxygen in the water as electron acceptor. This reaction provides the
energy needed for chemosynthesis. Chemosynthesis is the biological conversion of
one or more carbon molecules and nutrients into organic matter using the oxidation
of inorganic molecules or methane as a source of energy, rather than sunlight, as in
photosynthesis.
Design Principles: Our design must convert expelled nutrients into reusable organic
matter through chemosythesis so that it can be self sustaining.

NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Galapagos Rift Expedition 2011 (2012, July 20) Ocean
Explorer, NOAA [digital image]. Retrieved from http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/
explorations/ex1103/logs/dailyupdates/media/july2
3_update1.html
Kusek, Kristen M. Deep-sea Tubeworms Get Versatile Inside Help. Whoi.edu. N.p., 27
Jan.2007. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. <http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/feature/deep-seatubeworms-get-versatile-inside-help>.

183

184

RIVER (Fluminis)
Function: To transport nutrients and waste from and through multiple environments from the
mountains to the ocean.
Strategy: Rivers passively use gravity creating flow to transport nutrition and waste through
multiple environments, recycling the waste and gathering nutrition.
Mechanism: Rivers use passive gravity to flow down from the mountain to the ocean. They
gather nutrients and waste from the organisms living in and around the river and when
they overflow they pull in even more minerals, plant life and nutrients. As the river flows
downstream it adapts to the environments its moves through and the living organisms within
the river change accordingly.
For instance, headwaters where the water first collects, supports mainly decomposers that
break down organic material while farther downstream larger, more turbid waters can
support more predators. In this way nutrients and waste are moved through cyclical systems
(Datry, 2008).
Design Principle: Our design must passively transport nutrients and waste through a system.

NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program. Riftia Tube Worms Galapagos. [Digital image].
Wikipedia. N.p., 22 July 2011. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
Sources: Datry, T., & Larned, S. T. (2008). River flow controls ecological processes and
invertebrate assemblages in subsurface flowpaths of an ephemeral river reach.
Canadian Journal Of Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences, 65(8), 1532-1544.

185

186

SEA ANEMONE (Actiniaria)


Function: To be substantial in size and fit all underwater conditions
Strategy: Sea anemone uses material viscosity to change the size of its body wall.
Mechanism: The body wall of sea anemones can be quite substantial in size and will
withstand all underwater conditions. Sea anemones muscles drive some of the shape
changes, as do tracts of cilia that reinflate by pumping water back into the body. The
body wall of sea anemones consists of inner and outer surface layers separated by thick
mesoglea that is of high viscosity relative to its elasticity. Anemones do not do anything
fast but they change shape fairly easily though slowly, much like a hydraulic system.
Design Principle: Our design must incorporate shape changing features for water
storage. Water may also be a part of the structure, which will achieve the goal of
multiple tasks in one design.

Nhobgood. A Zebra striped Gorgonian Wrapper [digital image]. Retrieved from https://
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemanthus_annamensis#/media/File:Colonial_anemone_zebra.jpg
Vogel S. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton:
Princeton University Press. 580 p. Retrieved from http://www.asknature.org/strategy/
fce309395e707104fe19e983bbf47e65

187

188

SEA OAT (Uniola paniculata)


Function: To stabilize and preserve sand dunes.
Strategy: Stabilizing sand dunes and beach plant communities by trapping wind-blown
sand.
Mechanism: Sea oats roots and rhizomes have the ability to grow deeply. These
complex roots spread out widely in all directions thereby helping to stabilize the sand
dunes. Not only do the rhizomes help preserve sand dunes, they extract nutrients vital to
the growth of the sea oat (Shadow, 2007).
Design Principle: Our design must extract nutrients and provide stability, so that it
promotes and preserves growth even in harsh conditions.

Nhobgood. A Zebra striped Gorgonian Wrapper [digital image]. Retrieved from https://
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemanthus_annamensis#/media/File:Colonial_anemone_zebra.jpg
Shadow, R. (2007) Plant Fact Sheet For Sea Oats. Retrieved from
http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_unpa.pdf

189

190

SNOW LEOPARD (Panthera


uncia)
Function: To optimize oxygen intake in a boreal environment.
Strategy: Snow leopards have adapted nasal cavities that warm cold air, which helps
increase oxygen intake in high altitudes.
Mechanism: The nasal cavity is comprised of nasal turbinate bones, which are covered
in a moist, vascularized tissue known as respiratory epithelium. The turbinate surface
moistens and warms the air as it passes into the lungs reducing cooling. This surface cools
as the cold air is inhaled but traps excess moisture and heat from the air that is exhaled,
acting as a two-way air conditioning unit. Cold air would ultimately chill the body and
dry out the lungs, which would reduce respiratory abilities (Mazzoleni, 2013).
Design Principle: Our design must optimize the intake of oxygen, so that organisms can
thrive in a limited environment.

Photo Credit: Unknown. (n.d). Snow Leopards. Retrieved from http://www3.jjc.edu/ftp/


wdc12/ketherton/index.html
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. (2007). Snow Leopard, Panthera Uncia. Retrieved from
http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2008/bishop_kayl/adaptation.html

191

192

STRIPED BASS (Morone saxatilis)


Function: To provide penetrative protection
Strategy: Striped bass scales provide high resistance to penetration giving high protection
Mechanism: Bony fish protect themselves from predators through their 0.2 to 0.3 mm thick
scales. Scales consist of a dual structure where there is a solid mineralized outer layer
and a softer collagen fibrils inner layer. When a predator bites a striped bass, the scales
cracks in half twice in length and width creating flaps. The force from the bite disperses
within the cracks causing the forces to distribute rather than puncture an area in the fish.
The softer collagen layer stretches under pressure which helps with resistance along with
cracks of the scale, giving the fish more protection. The equivalence of the outer scales if
found in the inner layer which gives the fish double the strength and resistance.
Design Principle: Our design must provide highly effective protection from mechanical
injury.

K. (2011, November 02). Striped bass [Digital image]Retrieved October 12, 2015, from
http://www.asknature.org/strategy/85e01f41e2fcd60cdbe94b45c2e54999
Scales provide penetrative protection: Striped bass - AskNature.
(n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2015, from http://www.asknature.org/

193

194

TEMNOTHORAX ANTS
(Temnothorax albipennis)
Function: To manage and distribute resources
Strategy: After a famine, ant colonies assess their food supply and distribute food
throughout the colony.
Mechanism: Specific ants fulfill specialized roles in the colony: they assess and
manage their food supply (which is kept in specific locations and silos), dilute the food
accordingly, and then efficiently, safely and quickly distribute food to the entire colony
after a famine (Colonies, n.d.).
Design Principle: Our design must include strategically located distribution hubs,
specialized roles, and silos so as to ensure efficient distribution and access of nutrients.

Massie, M. Temnothorax worker. Lesnes Abbey, London [digital image]. Retrieved from
http://www.bwars.com/sites/www.bwars.com/files/species_images/Temnothorax%20
nylanderi%20worker.%20Lesnes%20Abbey,%20London.%20Photo%20by%20Mick%20Massie.
jpg?140775466
Sources: Colonies Distribute Food After Famine: Temnothorax Ants Retrieved from http://
www.asknature.org/strategy/9112601d62f1d8a40474358f623cc519

195

196

TERMITE (Isoptera)
Function: To keep their mounds temperature at a stable level
Strategy: Termites have devised a system of vents and channels inside the mounds to
maintain the inner temperature constant at 30.5 degrees celcius.
Mechanism: The top of the mound consists of a central chimney surrounded by an
intricate network of tunnels and passages. Air travels through the porous walls into a
series of small tunnels until it reaches the central chimney and rises up. When fresh air
mixes with this warm air, the air cools and sinks down into the nest. This ventilation system
constantly circulates the air and ensures that oxygen reaches the lower areas of the
mound and keeps the nest from overheating.
Design Principle: Our design must control its own temperature in a efficient way.

Massie, M. Temnothorax worker. Lesnes Abbey, London [digital image]. Retrieved from
http://www.bwars.com/sites/www.bwars.com/files/species_images/Temnothorax%20
nylanderi%20worker.%20Lesnes%20Abbey,%20London.%20Photo%20by%20Mick%20
Massie.jpg?1407754696
Sources: Nature. The Incredible Termite Mound. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.pbs.
org/wnet/nature/the-animal-house-the-incredible-termite-mound/7222/

197

198

TIGER SHARK (Galeocerdo


cuvier)
Function: Prevent build up of bacteria.
Strategy: The tightly woven scales make a challenging surface for
microorganisms to cling too.
Mechanism: The Sharks scales are called dermal scales. Recent hydrodynamic research
has shown how these scales actually bristle like fur and push the water down the shark
more efficiently and with less drag. The dermal scales are so tightly overlapped that it is
hard for micro-organisms and bacteria to latch on,
making the skin have antibacterial properties.
Design Principle: Our design must utilize antibacterial surfaces so that it protects against
foreign agents.

Micro-organisms
cannot attach

Dermal Scales

Kok, Albert. Tiger Shark. [Digital image.] Wikipedia. N.p., 10 Jan. 2010.
Web. 11 Oct. 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_shark#/media/File:Tiger_shark.jpg>.
Laduis, Esther. Repelling Germs with sharkskin. Societyforscience.org. N.p., 3
Oct. 2014. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. <https://student.societyforscience.org/article/repelling-germs%E2%80%98sharkskin%E2%80%99>

199

200

WOOD FROG (Lithobates


sylvaticus)
Function: To withstand freezing temperatures
Strategy: By flooding its blood with glucose, it can enter a cryogenic state to preserve its
body until warmer weather is present.
Mechanism: Wood frogs can tolerate the freezing of their blood and other tissues. Urea is
accumulated in tissues in preparation for overwintering, and liver glycogen is converted
in large quantities to glucose in response to internal ice formation. Both urea and glucose
act as cryoprotectants to limit the amount of ice that forms and to reduce osmotic
shrinkage of cells. Frogs can survive many freezing and thawing events during winter if no
more than about 65% of the total body water freezes.
Design Principles: Our design must withstand extreme enviroment changes so that it can
be resilient in harsh environments.

Holland, Mary. Wood Frog. Digital image. Naturally Curious with Mary Holland. N.p., 29
Sept. 2012. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.<
Roach, John. Antifreeze-Like Blood Lets Frogs Freeze and Thaw With Winters
Whims. National Geographic News. N.p., 20 Feb. 2007. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
<http://news.nationalgeograpic.com/news/2007/02/070220-frog-antifreeze.html>.
Netburn, Deborah. In Alaska, Wood Frogs Freeze for Seven Months, Thaw and Hop
Away. Los Angeles Times. N.p., 24 July 2014. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. <http://www.latimes.
com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-alaskan-frozen-frogs-20140723-story.html>.

201

202

Upwelling (upwelling)
Function: To Supply nutrients and supports abundant plankton.
Strategy: Utilizing upwelling for nutrients transport.
Mechanism: Winds blow across the ocean surface pushing water away. Water then rises
up from beneath the surface to replace the water that was pushed away, along this
process nutrients and other organisms are transported from the bottom of the ocean to
the surface.
Design Principle: Our Design must actively renovate the living conditions.

Delheimer, S. (June 22, 2010). Upwelling in the Atlantic Ocean bring nutrients-rich water
to the surface [digital image]. Retrieved from https://northeastparkscience.wordpress.
com/2010/06/22/save-the-whales-zooplankton/
Sources: NOAA. (2015, February 9). What is upwelling? Retrieved from http://
oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/upwelling.html

203

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List of Figures
Figure1: Biomimicry Mantra. Figure 2: The Three essential elements of Biomimicry, left to right:
Biomimicry3.8 DesignLens Collateral Toolkit.
2014 Biomimicry Group, Inc. Biomimicry 3.8. Biomimicry Group is a certified B-Corporation.
Retrieved from: http://biomimicry.net/about/biomimicry/biomimicry-designlens/
Figure 3: The Biomimicry Thinking Design Process Biomimicry3.8 DesignLens Collateral Toolkit.
2014 Biomimicry Group, Inc. dba Biomimicry 3.8. Biomimicry Group is a certified B-Corporation.
Retrieved from: http://biomimicry.net/
about/biomimicry/biomimicry-designlens/
Figure 4: Biomimicry Life Principles, left to right: Biomimicry3.8 DesignLens Collateral Toolkit.
2014 Biomimicry Group, Inc. dba Biomimicry 3.8. Biomimicry Group is a certified B-Corporation.
Retrieved from: http://biomimicry.net/about/biomimicry/biomimicry-designlens/
Figures 5-6: Biomimicry Advisors: Regina Rowland, Ph.D. and Cathy J. Sakas. Authors Image.
Figures 7-8: Team Members: Graduate Students. Authors Image.
Figures 9-10: Team Members: Undergraduate Students. Authors Image.
Figures 11-12: Team Members: Undergraduate Students. Authors Image.
Figures 13-14: Team Members: Undergraduate Students. Authors Image.
Figures 15-16: Team Members: Undergraduate Students. Authors Image.
Figure 17: Corner building in Savannah, GA.Authors Image.
Figure 18: Team members categorizing early secondary research. Authors Image.
Figure 19: Breaking down the definition of a food desert. Authors Image.
Figure 20: Opportunities to reduce food waste during downstream phase of consumption.
Authors Image.
Figure 21: Major food productions in Georgia, USA. Authors Image.
Figure 22: Exposition of amount of food wasted yearly and amount of people suffering from
hunger worldwide. Authors Image.
Figure 23: Effects of highly processed food: Obesity. Authors Image.
Figure 24: Effects of highly processed food: Mental Health and Inflammation.Authors Image.
Figure 25: Percentages of food consumed versus food lost by type. Authors Image.
Figure 26: One in Six Americans lack a secure food supply. Authors Image.
Figure 27: Growth on pine Tree. Authors Image.

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Figure 28: Spiders Web on Palm Tree. Authors Image.


Figure 29: Shells on Rock. Authors Image.
Figure 30: Lens focus on leaf capillaries. Authors Image.
Figure 31: Group discussion during excursion. Authors Image.
Figure 32: Outlook on Tybee. Authors Image.
Figure 33: Floating ISite. Authors Image.
Figure 34: Salt-Water Marsh. Authors Image.
Figure 35: Close-up of Turtle. Authors Image.
Figure 36: Close-Up of Palm Tree Trunk. Authors Image.
Figure 37: Swimming Alligator. Authors Image.
Figure 38: Multi-Level ISite Sketch on Altamaha River. Authors Image.
Figure 39: Panorama: Tropical Rainforest Taken by D. Perlman (14 July 2007)
Figure 40: Illustration of tropical rainforest biodiversity and levels. Authors Image.
Figure 41: Sphagnum Moss. Taken by F. Christian (2008)
Figure 42: Illustration of sphagnum moss modular growth. Authors Image.
Figure 43: African elephant. Taken by Eugenia and Julian. (6 February 2005)
Figure 44: Elephants teeth section view illustration. Authors Image.
Figure 45: Bamboo stalk close-up. Taken by A. Emmanuel Lattes. (15 May 2015)
Figure 46: Section view of tapered bamboo stalk. Authors Image.
Figure 47: Capillary flow of nutrients from bottom to top. Authors Image.
Table 1: Function Matrix: Alpaca to Ice Algae. A compilation of the entire teams function
cards sorted alphabetically, and categorized by organism, function, mechanism, and
design principle.
Table 2: Function Matrix: Ice Algae to Wood Frog. A compilation of the entire teams
function cards sorted alphabetically, and categorized by organism, function,
mechanism, and design principle.
Figure 48: Savannah Food Stalk Function Bridge. Infographic. Authors Image.
Figure 49: Image of wetland tree during canoe excursion. Authors Image.
Figure 50: Ideation process. Taken by J.D. Bryan (28 October 2015)
Figure 51: Phase One of Charrette: Guests learning about Function Cards.Authors Image.

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Figure 52: Phase Two of Charrette: Abstracting Stories from 3D Model. Authors Image.
Figure 53: Teams Form Studies. Authors Image.
Figure 54: Teams Modular Form Studies. Authors Image.
Figure 55: Savannah Food Stalk Technical Line Drawings. Authors Image.
Figures 56-59: Mock-up process shots. Building took place in SCADs Industrial Designs
Gulfstream shop. Authors Image.
Figure 60: Product shot of Savannah Food Stalk mock-up. Authors Image.
Figures 61-64: Detail shots of Savannah Food Stalk mock-up components. Authors Image.
Figure 65: Digital Prototype: Close-Up of Single Module- Back View. Created by S. Chen
Figure 66: Digital Prototype: Front View of Single Module and Bottom of Structure.
Authors Image.
Figure 67: Digital Prototype: Nutrient Flow and Component Function Illustration. Authors
Image.
Figure 68: Digital Prototype: Three Views of Savannah Food Stalk Modular Unit. Authors
Image.
Figure 69: Inspection of compartmentalized Camellia leaves in Botanical Garden.
Authors Image.
Figure 70: Bamboo Garden at Botanical Garden. Authors Image.
Table 3: Life Principles Evaluation Chart: Adapt to Changing Conditions.
Table 4: Life Principles Evaluation Chart: Be Locally Attuned and Responsive
Table 5: Life Principles Evaluation Chart: Use Life-Friendly Chemistry
Table 6: Life Principles Evaluation Chart: Be Resource Efficient
Figure 71: Heart of Palm, Authors Image
Figure 72: Illustration of pneumatophore in Greys Reef Sanctuary. Authors Image.
Figure 73: Illustration of ants working together to transport an acorn. Authors Image.
Figure 74: Illustration of butterflys flight pattern and sin wave. Authors Image.
Figure 75: Illustration of pinecone structure embedded in tent protective system. Authors
Image.
Figure 77: Illustration of Iris plant structure attracting bees. Authors Image.
Figure 78: Illustration of Sweet Gum Tree and Seed. Authors Image.
Figure 79: Camelia Flower. Authors Image.

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Thank You

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