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CITIES ARE LIKE FORESTS WHERE

EVERY BUILDING 43 IS A TREE

LES

SON

S


noémie benoit TU Delft Smart & Bioclimatic Design Autumn 2009

CITIES ARE LIKE FORESTS WHERE

EVERY BUILDING 4 IS A TREE

3 LE

SSO

NS

3


few words to explain the picture

Detail of a building, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. Gallery www.yannarthusbertrand2.org

4


CONTROL OF ENVIRONNEMENTS BUT NOT OF THE WEATHER

Tornado damage in Florida, 1998, United States. Photo by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. Gallery www.yannarthusbertrand2.org

5


few words to explain the picture

Interchange between the 5 and 110 freeways, Los Angeles, United States. Photo by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. Gallery www.yannarthusbertrand2.org

6


CONTROL OF THE MOTOR CARS BUT NOT OF THE WASTES

Slums on the garbages, Managua, Nicaragua. Photo by Dr Glen T. Martin. Website www.radford.edu/~gmartin/Nica%20-%20Managua%20photos.htm

7


few words to explain the picture

Flooding in the palm oil plantations, 2009, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo by NoĂŠmie Benoit.

8


CONTROL OF THE MONOCULTURES BUT NOT OF THE EARTH

Dry river, 2009, Tamil Nadu, India. Photo by Noémie Benoit.

9


few words to explain the picture

Deforestated area on the coast, 2009. Malaysia. Photo by Hosun Lee.

10


CONTROL OF THE LAND BUT NOT OF THE RESOURCES

The Universe Islands, Duba誰, United Arab Emirates. Image by Nakheel. Website http://blog.luxuryproperty.com/private-islands-luxury-artificial-islomaniac-paradise/

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page

chapter

title

17

.

opening : building more but...

23

.1

cities should be like forests

49

.2

roots : imPLANTation

69

.3

trunk : a densifying structure

81

.4

branches : hierarchized networks

95

.5

leaves : the smart enveloppe

119

.6

break : new genres ?

123

.7

xxx

135

.

bibliography

CONTENTS

43 LESSONS

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14


Cities are like forests, where every building is a tree...

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16


opening : building more but...

17


time 1

18

time 2


opening chapter

It

seems common and right, according to our generations, to design and to build more and more. Even the tendencies for restoration and conservation overshadow the only fact to build more. However, the only act to produce and invent a new object questions its validity on earth. Taking part of a complex system, which role will this new building play in its environment ? Which goals does it fulfill towards its context ? What is the referent data that allows us to implement this new design ?

How will the new object work in a stable ecosystem ? Tomorrow, I wish that the arguments of designing would consider fundamentally where we implant our constructions : in a natural ecosystem which has already its own rules and balances. It is now our challenge, at that time where the planet is being very poor and destroyed by the human presence. The milieu and their characteristics bring us keys to respect it and insert us, humans and buildings the most discreetly as possible.

.0 .4

(Sorry for the egos, Mr the architects, but they have nowadays their place in the closet.) A new building means to add an ÂŤorganismÂť into an existent ecosystem. While the new element comes and takes space, nutrients, etc, it can also give back something to the environment to balance its presence. It can participate and exchange with the milieu. That is a strategy of equilibrium which mimics the one of the natural systems.

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opening chapter

In the Nature, every organism is a habitat, sheltering species and being source of food. Complementary and various strategies exist to use in an optimum way all the available resources and not to lose anything. The Nature hates to waste. So, the Nature is an eco-system of many smart special solutions. For this reason, natural organisms are source of inspiration for us designers, to think differently about the world that we build and to make our designs that

fit the planet and not the contrary.

.0 .4

Let’s imagine real, participative, and positive features...

In this book, the forest as mature ecosystem is our reference for the built environment. Its inhabitants, trees, plants and others are observed as organisms and special answers that participate in the overall system. This metaphor allows designers to rethink every component of architecture as detail and conscious part of the all. It is because every organism fits a specific context that they sustain the total environment.

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cities should be like forests

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cities should be like forests chapter

.1 .4

The maturity of an ecosystem is attained when a durable, stable equilibrium exists between the species, the ground and the climates of the milieu. It is called the climax and it is the moment where the networks are the most complex and the biological cycles the longest.

LESSON 1

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cities should be like forests chapter

.1 .4

The diversity of types or typologies is the result of innumerable adaptations to the contexts. All ecological niches are exploited.

Everyone has defined roles and functions. This biodiversity exists because of the complementarity of species (as typologies) and the presence of specific ones.

LESSON 2

27


time 1

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time 2


cities should be like forests chapter

.1 .4

When an area is suddenly empty, it is the competition for taking benefit of the available sun. There is an immediate development of certain types ; the pioneer species have a fast growth and a short breeding cycle. Their structure is poor, ÂŤsprinterÂť and has a short life expectancy.

In the same time, another type develops itself : the species of the future. They need less energy than the pioneer species and they have a very slow growth. With their strong structure, they constitute the pillars of the mature ecosystem.

LESSON 3

29


what we did

30

what Nature does


cities should be like forests chapter

.1 .4

The extinction of species does not mean the extinction in the

ecosystem of the function achieved by these species. However, the endangered species and the extinctions weaken the environment even if it is at the moment imperceptible. The thinking system works with a synchronic vision of time ; cycles in circles and not a straight line.

LESSON 4

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cities should be like forests chapter

.1 .4

The ecosystem contains some particular species, which are engineers. They host other species, control directly or indirectly the resources for others.

LESSON 5

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building 2000

34

building 2010


cities should be like forests chapter

.1 .4

The natural organisms are the only living bodies able to generate their own nutrients from the sun and the water.

LESSON 6

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cities should be like forests chapter

.1 .4

When one element dies, it is considered as food for others or as fertilizer for the environment.

The ground or other kind of milieu is nourished by the rubbles, pieces or detritus from certain species or died organisms. After being consumed a first time, they are reused by others or they are broken down and re-assembled to constitute new nutrients. Everything is re-used, nothing is lost.

LESSON 7

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cities should be like forests chapter

.1 .4

On the same root networks, many organisms develop themselves, sharing facilities and infrastructures for economizing as much as possible energy. Sharing and participative structures are popular and the best in Nature.

LESSON 8

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cities should be like forests chapter

.1 .4

The informational network facilitates the collective adapta-

tion due to a stress. If something happens to an organism, the other one will react by becoming more competitive. In front of an aggression by an organism, species or climatic event, another one develops a strategy and communicates with its peers for them to develop similar strategies. The stress provokes adaptation and mutations, the information are shared with some mediators assuring the exchange.

LESSON 9

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time 1

time 2

42


cities should be like forests chapter

.1 .4

There is a natural competition between species. Certain are not enough efficient and strong to survive and to adapt themselves. So, they die and are replaced by others.

However, it exists some virus species, due to an exterior disruption in the environment. This last one is disturbed and the virus species colonize the milieu and take the space and the niche of other organisms. Other agents species are called to clean, to kill the foreigners to maintain the fragile equilibrium of the ecosystem.

LESSON 10

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time 1

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time 2


cities should be like forests chapter

.1 .4

Not every organism is exposed to favorable conditions of development, as limited exposure to the sun or poor food proximity. It is the fight for survival and growth.

So, species develop themselves on other elements having more energy. They hang on and catch their nutrients to live. They are symbiotic species, one hosted and the other one host.

LESSON 11

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cities should be like forests chapter

.1 .4

Certain types exist for hybrid purposes in the ecosystem. Parti-

cular as the agents or the cleaners, it exists also the infrastructure designers. They have a fast growth and are more economical, energetically speaking. Their structure is light and too much for being self-supporting, so, they use the other species to support their development towards the light. The particularity of these organisms is their mobility : they grow either horizontally or vertically.

LESSON 12

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48


roots : imPLANTation

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50


roots : imPLANTation chapter

.2 .4

The roots are serving of anchor space for the organism. They give

its solidity to the all. The root system has as much space as the branches network (envelope), it is the upside down.

LESSON 13

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52


roots : imPLANTation chapter

.2 .4

The roots

are contained in different milieus as the ground, the water or another organism.

LESSON 14

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roots : imPLANTation chapter

.2 .4

The roots are protecting the milieu in which they are.

They maintain them as cleaner or filter, they warn erosion or they structure it for example.

LESSON 15

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roots : imPLANTation chapter

.2 .4

The roots are some infrastructures or tools which takes nutrients from the milieu towards the inside organization. They draw provisions for the need of its own organism.

LESSON 16

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roots : imPLANTation chapter

.2 .4

The roots are the infrastructures to carry nutrients until other intermediaries to nourish the all structure and feed the organism.

Roots are ways to transport food, to exchange information, and to diffuse nutrients in all parts of the living entity. However, roots are also returning elements to the milieu and nurturing it in the same time.

LESSON 17

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roots : imPLANTation chapter

.2 .4

The roots work according to different cycles, their functions will be called up at different periods of time.

The nutrients drawn from the environment are neither mobilized nor restored at the same moment or season.

LESSON 18

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roots : imPLANTation chapter

.2 .4

The roots are agents of communication. They exchange pheromones, food, and other information with other organisms around.

They bridge different milieus and allow permeability between them. They assure a cooperation between micro ecosystems and entities.

LESSON 19

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roots : imPLANTation chapter

.2 .4

Roots are space of respiration. This respiration is constant and depends on the age of the alive entity.

It is at its maximum at the beginning of the life and in period of growth to slow down significantly at the mature age of the organism. Its efficiency increases.

LESSON 20

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roots : imPLANTation chapter

.2 .4

The roots are a participative structure. By their configuration, they invite other species to take place, to live and to be protected by their networks. They host life, food and information.

Their structure enriches the ecosystem and maintains biodiversity by these propositions.

LESSON 21

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trunk : a densifying structure

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time 1

70

time 2


trunk : a densifying structure chapter

.3 .4

The trunk assures the stability of the organism. The trunk has

the capacity to grow in 2 senses, horizontally as vertically. Its density increases with the time.

LESSON 22

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trunk : a densifying structure chapter

.3 .4

The trunk has innumerable variations of forms and splittings to

assure the highest density. Its own materiality can also vary to have the largest surface in contact with the milieu.

LESSON 23

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trunk : a densifying structure chapter

.3 .4

The trunk is the organ where flows of nutrients or information are

circulating in an ascension towards the other main pole of the organism, the branches network and their spaces. The trunk assures the transmission of energy.

LESSON 24

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trunk : a densifying structure chapter

.3 .4

The trunk serves also for other species which climb on it between 2 milieus, fix themselves to it, insert themselves inside etc. The trunk is a cooperative organ in that sense.

LESSON 25

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trunk : a densifying structure chapter

.3 .4

The trunk is structured depending on its age. At its centre, it is

very strong and old and at its periphery, its materiality is tender and easy to attack by other organisms. That allows to fix themselves temporarily in the outer circumference as transitory shelter or activity.

LESSON 26

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branches : hierarchized networks

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branches : hierarchized chapter networks

.4 .4

The branches are organized in a ramification system. The struc-

ture has a high hierarchy depending on the age. Consequently, the branches have different sizes creating various scales. Certain are for all the life while others are more temporary and will fall down after their function achieved.

LESSON 27

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branches : hierarchized chapter networks

.4 .4

The branches are a 3-dimensional system including a network of communication and circulation. It contains nodes and spaces are divided.

LESSON 28

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branches : hierarchized chapter networks

.4 .4

The branches

develop themselves in the space to reach light and nutrients as much as possible. They secure a return on the available space and the space occupied.

LESSON 29

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branches : hierarchized chapter networks

.4 .4

The branches’

network has infinite variations of forms, which adapted to different climatic conditions or other stresses with the ages.

LESSON 30

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branches : hierarchized chapter networks

.4 .4

The network of branches is a support for other species. They can build nests, others can grow and become food.

LESSON 31

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branches : hierarchized chapter networks

.4 .4

The material of the branches is a material able to fix, stock and reject substances and food.

LESSON 32

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leaves : the smart enveloppe

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time 1

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time 2


leaves : the smart enveloppe chapter

.5 .4

The leaves are characterized by being the smart components and sensors of an organism within a context. They are driven by their local expertise.

The materiality of these components is the result of their functions and their adaptation to the environment and its contraints.

LESSON 33

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leaves : the smart enveloppe chapter

.5 .4

Leaves are interactive components able to catch information and to translate them in a technical answer.

These detectors are able to react to different climatic conditions or other stress on time, second, minute, hour, day, season...

LESSON 34

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leaves : the smart enveloppe chapter

.5 .4

Leaves developed various and complementary strategies to fulfill different functions in the overall entity.

In the same organism, leaves are different for achieving different missions depending on their position for example.

LESSON 35

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102


leaves : the smart enveloppe chapter

.5 .4

Leaves catch nutrients as water, warmth and light, but also dusts or wastes of the milieu. They can either fix them or transform them. Moreover, they humidify the air by this action.

By offering diverse surfaces of contact, they vary their impact and role on the environment.

LESSON 36

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leaves : the smart enveloppe chapter

.5 .4

Leaves offer a protection by constituting a filter against the light, wind and water. Depending of what they need, they absorb them more or less.

LESSON 37

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leaves : the smart enveloppe chapter

.5 .4

Leaves possess different materiality, forms and colors. They come

from their adaptation to the previous constraints of the environment on the system. Their various qualities enable them to be economical in energy.

LESSON 38

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leaves : the smart enveloppe chapter

.5 .4

Leaves assure the transpiration of the organism with its ecosys-

tem. This transpiration is called the photosynthesis. It is both a chemical and technical reaction appearing in these components. During the day, they absorb dioxide of carbon from the air and throw back oxygen, while during the night, the process is inverted in a smaller proportion. Other reactions appear which enable for example the component to grow and to produce food for itself.

LESSON 39

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leaves : the smart enveloppe chapter

.5 .4

The leaves achieve other functions which seem to be often forgotten. They define atmospheres, light variations, visual movements and sound. They can also be medicinal for other species.

LESSON 40

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time 1

112

time 2


leaves : the smart enveloppe chapter

.5 .4

Leaves communicate between each other by pheromones. Pheromones are chemical information disseminated in the air and transported in the milieu. The leaves receiving these information are excited and change their behavior or their biology.

LESSON 41

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leaves : the smart enveloppe chapter

.5 .4

The leaves reflect the health of the organism. Their renewal per season for certain species enables them to save energy and to achieve a period of regeneration.

LESSON 42

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leaves : the smart enveloppe chapter

.5 .4

When the leaves are falling down per period, they constitute new nutrients for other organisms and nourish the milieu.

At that time, the roots also take them as food for feeding the organism again. Everything is a closed cycle, in the entity in itself and in the milieu within the milieu.

LESSON 43

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break : new genres ?

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break : new genres chapter

As your imagination

would be challenged and excited by these principles, Nature can still teach thousands of lessons if it is studied deeper, larger or differently. However, I would like to warn you about its use ; if you see only the lesson from a narrow perspective, it will help you to avoid thinking too deep and it will give you insincere reasons to build. So, be aware of your choices to experience the rules before really implementing them.

If all rules are taken into consideration, maybe then you will be really sustainable. I would recommend you to be critical about your own ideas adapted from Nature. Nature has been doing this reflection for millions of years, just be humble. Maybe you may not find right solutions, but if you are already trying, well done.

.6 .4

supernatural ? explosion, attempts ? or new hybrid materialization ? temporary exchanges of joy ? What would it mean in architectural materialization ? And the space the void in the tree ? The essence of architecture.... Just few ideas for you to think more and to never stop thinking more...

And now, what about the flowers, the fruits ? Shouldn’t they be other genres of design ?

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xxx chapter

Thanks to... -Jean, alive person and alive tree of Two Banyans, Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India. for the awakening about forests and deep sustainability, you make me seeing and understanding that it was possible, a world could exist as we dream and feel it in our bellies... (This book is dedicated to you and my stay in Auroville, my research of life...and for all humans of the world)

.7 .4

-Claude Ponti, author of children books, Broutille, The tree without end... for having made me dreaming all my childhood about trees, about a world of adventures and surprises, magical in the Nature...

-many of my teachers, who told me, yes you can dream, you can reinvent everything.

-Yann-Arthus Bertrand, French photographer of aerial landscape. because everytime I observe these forms, colors and materialities of lands, I am becoming the writer of the thousands of stories they lived and I am imagining inhabiting them...

-Janine Benyus, with her book Biomimicry, Innovation inspired by Nature. Because her book explained me how to think better and more...

-Didier and Caroline, my parents, who are with children all days long and who take part in my stories,

- finally my friends who were with me to be critical, to check my translation and to support me !

125


few words to explain the picture

Landscape, Canada. Photo by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. Gallery www.yannarthusbertrand2.org

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& EQUILIBRIUM METICULOUSNESS BETWEEN NATURE & TECHNOLOGY

Ulsan shipyard, South Korea. Photo by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. Gallery www.yannarthusbertrand2.org

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few words to explain the picture

Autum forest in the region of Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada. Photo by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. Gallery www.yannarthusbertrand2.org

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& PATTERN DIVERSITY BETWEEN CULTURES & TERRITORY

Terraced fields in Jebel Akhdar, Oman. Photo by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. Gallery www.yannarthusbertrand2.org

129


few words to explain the picture

Tree of life, Tsavo National Park, Kenya. Photo by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. Gallery www.yannarthusbertrand2.org

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& DISCRETION ADAPTATION BETWEEN HUMAN & RELIEF

Movie Home. Photo by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. Gallery www.yannarthusbertrand2.org

131


few words to explain the picture

Stettjokul glacier Myrdalsjokull region, Iceland. Photo by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. Gallery www.yannarthusbertrand2.org

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& IMAGINATION COMPLEXITY BETWEEN BASICS & REALITY

Dogon village, near Bandiagara, Mali. Photo by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. Gallery www.yannarthusbertrand2.org

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bibliography

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Jean. Inhabitant, planter, forester & architect etc, Two Banyans, Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India. Braungart, Michael. Author of Cradle to Cradle. 8th October 2009 with TU Delft, Vesteplein, Delft.

meetings

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Benyus, Janine. Biomimicry, Innovation inspired by Nature. 1997. Harper Perennial. Kelly, Kevin. Out of Control, The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World. 1994. Basic Books. Ehrenfeld, John. Sustainability by design. 2008. Yale University Press. Vale, Robert & Brenda. Time to eat the dog ? the real guide to sustainable living. 2009. Thames & Hudson. Steffen, Alex. World changing, A user’s guide for the the 21st century. 2006. United States. Alex Steffen. Braungart, Michael & McDonough, William. Cradle to cradle, Remaking the way we make things. 2002. North Point Press. Panchuk, Neal. Parametric architecture & biomimicry. Thesis. 2006. Waterloo University. Ontario. Yowell, Jay. Biomimicry & architecture. Convention 2007. University of Oklahoma. Report. Karban, Richard. Baldwin, Ian. Induced responses to herbivory. 1997. University of Chicago Press. Self-sufficient housing, IaaC Ist Advanced Architecture Contest. 2006. IaaC.

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Biomimicry. A tool for innovation. 2007-2009. www.biomimicryinstitute.org Biomimicry and Ocean generated energy : Are Humans smarter than Sea Sponges ? Gav, Big. 2006.www.biomimicryinstitute.org Leightweightening : Scots pine. Research from Biomimicry Institute. www.asknature.org/strategy/ Photosynthesis : Cooke’s koki’o. Research from Biomimicry Institute. www.asknature.org/strategy/ Biomimicry inspired cactus building. Koerner, Preston. 2009, March. www.jetsongreen.com/ Biomimicry + the graphic design process. Bosworth, Alison. http://dailythesisjournal.blogspot.com/ Learning from Nature to use less material and energy. McKeag, Tom. 2009. www.greenerdesign.com The Living Building. Biomimicry in Technology, Integrating Technology with Nature. Berkebile, Bob. McLennan, Jason. http://jasonmclennan.com/articles/The_Living_Building.pdf The Mannahatta project : a Natural History of New York City. Sanderson, Eric. The Widlife Conservatorion Society. 2008-2009. United States. http://themannahattaproject.org/ Warners tree surgery. Help for all sick trees. http://warnerstreesurgery.com Forum Vegetal biology on Communication of trees. http://forums.futura-sciences.com/biologie/ Ecological Design and permaculture. Hemenway, Toby. http://patternliteracy.com/index.html

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Pioneer Species, Re-establishing Woodland. Plants for a Future. Eugenie. 2009. www.pfaf.org Definition of Ruderal Species. 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ What architecture can learn from Nature ? Holverstott, Brett. 2008. www.greenerdesign.com Super sustainable city of Gotenburg. http://supersustainablecity.blogspot.com/2009/02/vision.html Growing Architecture. Marley, Elizabeth. Wartena, Ryan. Hart, John. www.growingarchitecture.org Holding Pattern : What to do with stalled building projects ? Alter, Lloyd. 2009. Toronto.www.treehugger. com Kokage House Built from Tree-Shaped Parts. Alter, Lloyd. 2009. Toronto. www.treehugger.com Growing a hidden architecture. Kerrigan, Christian. 2006. www.interactivearchitecture.org/ Comment les arbres peuvent-il éviter le stress ? University of Pays Basque. www.notre-planete.info/ Fonctionnement des arbres, résineux et feuillus. www.univers-nature.com Le fonctionnement de l’arbre. Syndicat communal de la vallée de l’Orge Aval. www.sivoa.fr L’architecture de l’arbre. Atelier d’études approfondies pour spécialistes des arbres. wmoore@arbre.net La forêt verte ? un aperçu de la structure forestière. Hecquet, Vanessa. 2001. www.terresdeguyane.fr La forêt, les quatre éléments. Gestion durable. France. www.onf.fr Manifeste du Tiers-paysage. Clément, Gilles. 2004. Free license. http://arlibre.org

websites

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contact chapter

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noĂŠmie benoit noemie.benoit@gmail.com +31 6 81 5021 81 Master of Architecture 2008-2011 TU Delft Manual of the designer Smart & Bioclimatic Design AR0531 Autumn 2009

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Cities are like forest where every building is a tree