Abstract & Progress

Our group has found a strong focus on the back and forth relationship between humans and society to the environment and climate change. In regards to the pandemic as well as the world that precedes and follows this global crisis, we will look at different ways that the environment has impacted us and how we can do our part to have a beneficial impact on the environment and make up for the degradation of it. Our group will look at various scales of impact from specific case studies to overarching themes. My project, the living lotus self-cleaning surfaces, acts as a translation from small scale to large scale. I am looking at nanostructure and technology within nature which will be applied on the scale of architecture surfaces, yet it has the ability to influence the entire built environment and our relationship to planet earth. This project will be accompanied by images produced and edited by myself about possible relationships between natural systems and architecture and different ideas about implications that we can apply to have realized in the built environment. I think our group brings a strong connection and relation to each of our individual projects to symbolize and express the cyclical back and forth relationship within ecosystems while providing background, detail, and proposed solutions.

Abstract:

This paper examines how the coronavirus will have an effect on the built environment and how the architecture industry can work towards achieving the human needs that have been brought up by Covid-19. The study expands on the biophilic ideas of the benefits of nature in our built environment to reintroduce humans into the ecosystem with a positive impact. With a focus on the prevention of the spread of germs and bacteria, this study looks towards biomimicry to implement natural strategies for hygiene and cleanliness onto architecture. Simplifying down to the most essential tectonic element, the wall and the surface provide direct contact with multiple people every day. It is especially consequential in areas of a building that are exposed to the most contact and exchange of people: the restroom. The researched solution is a system of biomimiced self cleaning surfaces that are modelled by the strategies of lotus plants and the feet of geckos. 

The proposed self cleaning surfaces follow the topography of lotus plant leaves which are texturized on a nanoscale to produce a superhydrophobic surface. This surface that features a hierarchical topography prevents the penetration of droplets onto the surface. The water droplets form beads and roll off the leaf while bringing any dirt with it. Another strategy found in geckos utilize an energetic disequilibrium to bond to surfaces and release dirt through arrays of setae. While many artists have been inspired by biomimicry, lotus leaves, and topographic surfaces, the paper redefines hygiene in the built environment and responds to the current needs. Through various methods of nano engraving fabrication, the self-cleaning architectural surfaces have the ability to bring natural technology to the built environment to stop the spread of bacteria and advocate for a cleaner, natural living system.

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- Refer to previous blog for the images and the references