Portland, Seattle Duke It Out For World’s Most Nature-Inspired Building… What’s perhaps most interesting about these buildings is that the their biomimetic properties mean that they have a great deal in common, despite having been designed independently of one another.
Both only about 6/7 stories tall, both cubical, both use geothermal, both, store water underground, both in the Pacific Northwest. These are all obvious optimizations to the goal of a “Living Building Standard” and an environment. With a clear enough goal and at least semi-understood variables, a good design is, someday, inevitable. This is not a coincidence.
As far as I can tell, the most robust design template is the old style cottage garden:
- Enclosed – walls big enough to support the plants while keeping out pets, yet not so strong that some plants can’t get out (or in).
- Practical – veggies, herbs, fruit trees, beehives (or at least bee attractors).
- All niches are filled – flowers fill in spaces.
- “Depend on grace and charm rather than grandeur and formal structure.”
- Egalitarian – almost anyone can make one.
Applying these building designs to the Edge of Chaos chart below would be right near the apex. Now if most of the “offices” start doing this, “offices” would start to reside more towards “II. Periodic Patterns” on that chart. At that point, evolutionary pressures might re-form, making the goal not only Living Buildings, but also non-monotinous. This might inspire something like buildings sharing resources (like tree roots) via feedback looks and “accounts” so that the center buildings can get higher, or have more variability while the distal buildings get lower or partially move underground. Parking might move underground and distal since streets take up an enormous amount of surface area that is now very valuable for solar cells. Maybe people start moving around on fast conveyor belts… which changes womens’ shoe fashion to flat, grippy shoes… This can not be efficiently managed from the top down.