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Architecture Follows Nature: Ilaria Mazzoleni

May 3, 2013   //   by Colin Mangham   //   Biomimicry News  //  Comments Off on Architecture Follows Nature: Ilaria Mazzoleni

Biomimicry LA founding member Ilaria Mazzoleni will be presenting concepts and case studies from her recently published book, “Architecture Follows Nature: Biomimetic Principles for Innovative Design” on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 6:00 pm at Parsons Corporation in Pasadena.

To register for the event visit the AIA site: www.aiapf.org/cde.cfm?event=410310

Biology influences design projects in many ways; the related discipline is known as biomimetics or biomimicry. Using the animal kingdom as a source of inspiration, Ilaria Mazzoleni seeks to instill a shift in thinking about the application of biological principles to design and architecture. She focuses on the analysis of how organisms have adapted to different environments and translates the learned principles into the built environment. To illustrate the methodology, Mazzoleni draws inspiration from the diversity of animal coverings, referred to broadly as skin, and applies them to the design of building envelopes through a series of case studies.

Skin is a complex organ that performs a multitude of functions; namely, it serves as a link between the body and the environment. Similarly, building envelopes act as interfaces between their inhabitants and external elements.  The resulting architectural designs illustrate an integrative methodology that allows architecture to follow nature.

“Ilaria Mazzoleni, in collaboration with biologist Shauna Price, has developed a profound methodology for architectural and design incentives that anticipates and proposes novel ways to explore undiscovered biological inspirations for various audiences.”

—Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor CRC Biomimetic Series


1. Participants will learn about how natural systems can be used to develop new material applications for building technology products.

2. Participants will explore how biological and ecological systems provide inspiration for sustainable design solutions.

3. Participants will gain an overview of the physics of nature-based innovation in biomimetic design.

4. Participants will explore the historical and contemporary development of dynamic facades and active building envelopes.

Ilaria Mazzoleni is an architect and the founder of IM Studio Milano/Los Angeles. Her conceptual work has been published globally, and her built work can be found in Italy, California, and Ghana. Ilaria has gained attention in the fields of sustainable architecture and biomimicry. This has led to her being invited to participate in multiple international conferences and workshops and her written contributions are published in several international architectural magazines. Since 2005 she has been a full-time faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles. Her professional and academic investigation relates to sustainable architecture on all scales of design with a research focus on biomimicry, where innovation in architecture and design is inspired by the processes and functions of nature.

Collaborating with biologists and other scientists from top research institutions, her projects explore the connections between biotic and abiotic elements within eco-systems in order to develop sustainable urban planning strategies and address solutions to global climate change. An ongoing research program has centered on understanding how organisms have evolved and adapted to their environment, and applying that knowledge to design building façades. The conceptual implications arising from biomimetics and design have led to a body of work that investigates innovative material processes, forms, geometries and structural patterns.

Ilaria regularly presents her academic and professional work at international design and sustainability conferences. As a contributor to Abitare magazine online, Ilaria writes extensively about the interrelationships between the built environment and nature in her column “out in the city.” Released in March 2013 by CRC is the book entitled, Architecture Follows Nature – Biomimetic Principles for Innovative Design.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Parsons Corporation
100 W. Walnut St.
Pasadena, CA 91124

Participants shall enter Parsons lot from Walnut Street manned gate (north side of property).
Guests should pull a ticket and enter the lot. Tickets will be validated at the Security station upon initial entry to the building and at no cost. Tickets will be required to exit the parking lot.

AIA members – $20
non-AIA members – $30
at the door – $40
students – $5


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