Towards Natural and Organic Systems

We believe that nature is the perfect architecture in that it provides an infinite source of how to balance structure, function and aesthetics. In natural architecture, beliefs such as those regarding life and death played a fundamental role in architecture. Designing and constructing are creative activities. As much as we engineer and automate the processes by which we create things, the human act of designing and constructing will always be driven by values - individual and collective (shared). These values are established from deeply ingrained beliefs on life and death - our religious or spiritual beliefs. An aspect of architecture involves the establishment of best practices. Practices are in turn established from principles which in turn are established from values.

Biomemetics is the study of biological structure and function. This approach is gaining ground in material science. From early civilisation, people derived design patterns from nature. Igloos and teepees are shaped from patterns of dwelling places in nature.

Natural architecture provides patterns for design which draw on our natural surrounds. It also involves creating new patterns that are in harmony with nature. It is important for architects to consider their environment. Use cases drawn in the context of boundaries can give context to the human and system interaction. We need to understand the context of systems within an enterprise, industry, markets, communities, geographical locations and our planet as a whole. Many of our problems are based on design - social structures, systems and processes. By drawing on natural patterns we can seek to enhance the quality of life in our designs - try and prevent polluting the environment and burdening society with more stress and frustration.

The ultimate aim of natural architecture is to draw on the infinite patterns of nature. For those pursuing an architecture intensive discipline and find themselves wanting in creative ideas or solutions, nature offers a host of inspiration for resolving many problems. Nature has an ability to resolve design problems on an ongoing basis. Even natural disasters are a pattern in that there comes a time to bring closure. Systems may need to be re-written, projects may need to be terminated, processes re-engineered and strategies need to be re-focused.

While organisations may feel they have the right to establish practices in the workplace, individual beliefs can enhance or undermine the practice. In software development, it is best to establish teams that have shared values and where respect for beliefs or an understanding thereof is fostered rather than seeking to impose practices which may cause underlying conflicts.