Nature has often provided inspiration for design in the built environment – whether this be bionic, biomimetic, biomorphic or biophilic design. When it comes to cities and urbanism, we need to widen the perspective to include ‘bionomic’ or ecological equivalents, that see the city as a whole ecosystem, rather than as an individual organism or dealing with urban ‘organs’ or tissue. The time dimension then becomes particularly important, as we are dealing not simply with the formation of a discrete object like a building, with a finite date of completion, but an open-ended system. In fact there are different timescales going on simultaneously: one concerning the life cycles of individual buildings (cf organisms) and one concerning the longer term, open-ended urbanism (cf evolution). In this context, what are lessons from nature; or put another way, what is Nature’s Futurism?
Drawing from recent research into biological and ecological analogues with urbanism, this talk by Dr Stephen Marshall, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, focuses in particular on drawing lessons from self-organisation and evolution in nature, and how we may interpret urban change in terms of self-organisation and evolution, and hence how to consider the self-organising, evolutionary future of cities.
Date and Time
Committee Rooms 1 & 2
Glamorgan Building, School of Geography and Planning
King Edward VII Avenue