Plankton Inspired Promotion Pavilion

” Pohl Architects have designed the Cocoon_FS for PlanktonTech, a German research institution that studies plankton. The form was inspired by a type of phytoplankton called diatoms, and is made of fibre-reinforced polymer panels. PlanktonTech will travel around the world and use Cocoon_FS to promote their work.”

“The Cocoon_FS pavilion was constructed from leaf-like panels of fiber-reinforced polymer. Fifteen original base modules were designed and a total of 220 modules were manufactured. Each panel fastens to the next to form a super strong, self-supporting dome. Its translucent shell admits light during the day and illuminates its surroundings at night.

The temporary featherweight structure weighs in at just 1650 pounds and measures under ten feet tall. Both exterior and interior walls carry the same variety of pores, ribs, minute spines, marginal ridges and elevations that characterize the silica cell wall of the slimy brown surface algae that inspired it. Researchers at PlanktonTech used microtechnology to transfer the richly patterned shells of the plankton to a 3D model. Those models were then analyzed and optimized using various computations to unlock biomechanical qualities and re purpose them for architectural design.

Algae is growing in popularity among biofuel enthusiasts, food developers, and entrepreneurs, but as far as we know, the Cocoon_FS is the first prefab to take its design cues from phytoplankton. The plankton-inspired building made its debut in Germany and will be erected at sites around the world in an effort to draw support, awe, and admiration for PlanktonTech’s ongoing investigation of plankton-based solutions.”

Via Inhabitat and Contemporist

 

 

 

The Lotus Effect

Very interesting video showing how a lotus leaf reacts to liquid. Notice how even honey slides off the leaf like water.  Research is being done on material with a Lotus-like property, also known as superhydrophobicity.

 
 

Below is an image from a scientific paper published in 2008 titled Laser structuring of water-repellent biomimetic surfaces and fully available here. The image shows a comparison between the microscopic texture of a leaf and a surface shaped with a laser.  The artificial lotus shows very similar behaviour (and appearance) to the real leaf. A group in Germany called “Lotus-Effect” is also working on the reproducing the magic and has published great documentaries on their website.