Archives for the month of: July, 2013

The Urodid moth spins an incredible open-net cocoon around its pupa not for beauty but for survival. While the weave may seem more vulnerable to predators, the benefits are numerous: more airflow which prevents the formation of fungus and mould, no catchment of rainfall which could result in drowning and a structure that makes it harder for ants to feed on the pupa.

Also, MIT researchers recently constructed an ethereal-looking geodesic dome inspired and constructed by the figure-eight spinning patterns of silkworms. Watch it in HD, it’s worth it. It’s amazing to see natural and artificial construction techniques combine to create something beautiful and ephemeral.

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Designed by Jean Nouvel in 1987, l’Institut du Monde Arabe is still one of Paris’ most distinctive architectural features. The huge glass facade is backed by a layer of interlocked metal diaphragms, which are individually controlled by sunlight to open and close like a camera lens. The effect is bewitching, creating different geometric patterns throughout the course of the day, all of which are reminiscent of Arabic art, albeit a super-modern interpretation.

exterior

interior with 80s fashion cameo

close up

A little slice of paradise amongst the industrial sprawl of Alexandria, The Grounds is one of those rare designs that makes you feel both awed and instantly comfortable. Converted from an old pie factory by siblings Ramzey and Caroline Choker and business partner Jack Hanna, the rustic, simple interior is complemented by lush 1200m.sq permaculture gardens and outdoor seating. The overall atmosphere is both spacious and cosy, with high ceilings and open brickwork contrasted by soft lighting and indoor plants, bringing the gardens into the dining space.