Monocle on Design

Course of nature

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28 June 2016

Episode 246

30 minutes


Photo: Rob Chron

From architecture to fashion and engineering, we turn our attention to the influence that nature and naturally inspired design is having on the industry.

28 June 2016

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Chapter 1

3 minutes


Photo: Petra Gruber

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Chapter 1

Biomimicry with Petra Gruber

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Petra Gruber, an architect who works at the Biomimicry Research Innovation Center at the University of Akron, explains some of the ideas that underpin the concept.

3 minutes

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Chapter 2

5 minutes


Photo: Alex Blair

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Chapter 2

Lessons from the natural world

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Architecture may seem like a discipline preoccupied with sheltering us from the elements but the built environment could learn a few lessons from the natural world. We speak to two architects who are leading the charge to find out how the industry is taking inspiration from nature.

5 minutes

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Chapter 3

7 minutes


Photo: Rob Chron

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Chapter 3

Tangible Media Group

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At the MIT a team known as the Tangible Media Group is sweating over a new technology and it’s not just scientists who are seeing potential in it – it’s sportswear brands too.

7 minutes

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Chapter 4

10 minutes


Photo: James Mollison

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Chapter 4

Rome’s Olympic Village

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Rome hosted the Olympic Games in 1960 and created a showpiece complex of apartment buildings that would act as a purpose-built Olympic Village. It would also form a new residential district after the athletes had dismounted their rostrums, packed their medals and headed home. More than half a century later, we find out whether it has lived up to its promise.

10 minutes

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