Science in the Age of the Invisible: Biomimicry and the Design of Translational Research Facilities

Wednesday, September 20, 2:00 - 3:00 PM

Speaker(s): David Martin

The best biological ideas can solve most human problems. This session will explore two of the most important converging aspects of laboratory design today—how to drive discovery and innovation through collaboration in translational research environments and how to create environmentally benign science facilities with reduced energy consumption. Examples from nature, which has perfected its model through 3.8 billion years of evolution, can be applied to answer some of our own problems regarding the design of these transdisciplinary research laboratories as we explore “Science in the Age of the Invisible.”

Approaches will be outlined to integrate Biomimicry Concepts and Translational Laboratory Design principles in developing exemplary research buildings which embrace two core principles affecting laboratory facilities—promoting collaboration and sustainability.  Following an overview of key scientific trends emerging where innovation is driven through collaboration in advanced translational research programs, the presentation will also outline the underpinnings of Biomimicry in Design and how principals borrowed from nature can help us design a new generation of advanced laboratory buildings. The intersection of these two themes create the convergence of highly interactive and sustainable discovery centers which are aligned with this new paradigm.  

The Biomimicry Checklist: Through project examples worldwide, we will outline an approach to better integrate these ideas in the form of a Design Framework. Tracking the primary issues of Form, Skin, Air, Circulation, and Light which are the pillars of the Biomimicry Checklist, from inception through to design and construction, we see real examples of how biomimicry can assist in adapting nature’s examples to propel innovation and sustainable outcomes. The Biomimicry Checklist can be adapted for use during briefing stage of projects in establishing targets for sustainable innovations.