Biomimicry: Design To Heal The Planet
Michael Pawlyn (Exploration Architecture)


Michael Pawlyn

©Kelly Hill Photography

I've always felt pretty passionate about the environment and that started when I was quite a young teenager actually. An uncle of mine bought me a book called 'Blueprint For Survival' which was written by the same people that wrote 'Limits To Growth', they were the Club of Rome and so on and that politicised me about the environment at quite an early age. So environmental issues were one important strand for me as a teenager, I was passionate about two other things, design and biology and at that stage I couldn't see the connections between those and so I did think about studying Biology but I didn't really anticipate it being particularly creative and so I went to study architecture. It was really some years later when I had a chance to join the Eden Project in the very early stages working at Grimshaw and that's when I realised that you could actually bring these three things together. That was a fantastic experience in seeing how you can take really quite a wacky idea and then take it all the way through testing and meeting regulations and so on and actually realising and I learnt a huge amount while I was doing that.


BioRock Pavilion

©Kelly Hill Photography

It was also while doing that, that I realised just how much we could learn by looking at how problems have been solved in nature, so we looked at nature throughout that design process and I went on a really transformative short course at Schumacher College just after finishing the Eden Project and it was led by Amory Lovins and Janine Benyus and I'm convinced that I learnt more in those five days than I had learnt in the previous fifteen years of going to seminars and listening to architects talk about how fantastic they are. So the rest of the time at Grimshaw I really pushed the sustainability agenda and biomimicry and then after ten years there I decided that I wanted to focus exclusively on biomimicry and regenerative design and also to explore some new ways of working as an architect.

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