Ecofriendly Innovations Inspired by Nature
By Alan Marshall
(North Atlantic Books, Paperback, 9781556437908, 168pp.)
Publication Date: July 14, 2009
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In Wild Design, environmental designer and scientist Alan Marshall presents a manifesto on nature-inspired designs, including visionary concepts as well as exhibits of actual products, landscapes, and artwork from around the world. With elegant photographs and drawings, the book incorporates the ethos of sustainability by documenting many of the results of the Ecomimicry Project, an international experiment in ecodesign that marries the skills of local artists and ecologists from Western Australia and the Carpathian mountains in Eastern Europe.
All the designs treat nature as an inspiration for ecofriendly innovations. Among the fascinating possibilities: a bike helmet based on the crustacean exoskeleton, a heliotropic house, and a car fueled by algae. Marshall argues that design should be the responsibility of all, not just a technological elite, and it is in this spirit that he offers this timely, important book.
Alan Marshall is the founder of the Ecomimicry Project and is currently a research fellow at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia. As well as researching in Australasia, he has worked on environmental issues at several European universities and research centers, including the Institute for Advanced Studies in Graz, Austria and Presov University in Slovakia.
“Designer and scientist Marshall has collected compelling examples of eco-inspired designs, including a helmet shaped like a crustacean and an algae-fueled car. He also details results from the Ecomimicry Project, an environmental design project that bore ideas for sustainable landscapes, technologies, and artwork.”
–Business Week “20 Great Summer Reads”
"[Alan Marshall's] Ecomimicry Project is a highly imaginative experiment in design demonstrating how the natural world may serve as inspiration for design ideas."
–Alan Saunders, ABC Radio National, Australia
“It’s hard not to enjoy the attacks on nuclear power, gold, nanobots and politics…[Wild Design carries] some serious, and sometimes quite stimulating and insightful ideas.”