Archivi tag: nature

RESTORE | REthinking Sustainability TOwards a Regenerative Economy

logo_costApproved by the COST Committee of Senior Officials on 24 October 2016, REthinking Sustainability TOwards a Regenerative Economy (RESTORE) is one out of the 25 new Actions that were selected out of 478 eligible proposals collected earlier in April.

RESTORE: ‘to return something or someone to an earlier good condition or position’.

Sustainable buildings and facilities are critical to a future that is socially just, ecologically restorative, culturally rich and economically viable within the climate change context.

Despite over a decade of strategies and programmes, progress on built environment sustainability fails to address these key issues. Consequently the built environment sector no longer has the luxury of being incrementally less bad, but, with urgency, needs to adopt net-positive, restorative sustainability thinking to incrementally do ‘more good’.


Within the built environment sustainability agenda a shift is occurring, from a narrow focus on building energy performance, mitigation strategies, and minimisation of environmental impacts to a broader framework that enriches places, people, ecology, culture, and climate at the core of the design task, with particular emphasis on the benefits towards health. 

Sustainability in buildings, as understood today, is an inadequate measure for current and future architectural design, for it aims no higher than trying to make buildings ‘less bad’. Building on current European Standards restorative sustainability approaches will raise aspirations and deliver restorative outcomes. 

Walden Pond, Concord (MA, USA)

Walden Pond, Concord (MA, USA)

The RESTORE Action will affect a paradigm shift towards restorative sustainability for new and existing buildings, promoting forward thinking and multidisciplinary knowledge, leading to solutions that celebrate the richness of design creativity while enhancing users’ experience, health and wellbeing inside and outside buildings, in harmony with urban ecosystems, reconnecting users to nature. 

The COST proposal will advocate, mentor and influence for a restorative built environment sustainability through work groups, training schools (including learning design competitions) and Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs).

General information:

CA COST Action CA16114 REthinking Sustainability TOwards a Regenerative Economy
Start of Action: 09.03.2017  End of Action: 08.03.2021
Proposers: Carlo Battisti w/ Martin Brown, Sue Clark, Emanuele Naboni
Science Officer: Estelle Emeriau
Administrative Officer: Aranzazu Sanchez

For further information:

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is the longest-running European framework supporting trans-national cooperation among researchers, engineers and scholars across Europe. It is a unique means for them to jointly develop their own ideas and new initiatives across all fields in science and technology, including social sciences and humanities, through pan-European networking of nationally funded research activities. Based on a European intergovernmental framework for cooperation in science and technology, COST has been contributing – since its creation in 1971 – to closing the gap between science, policy makers and society throughout Europe and beyond. 

Innovation in music. 8. Björk’s Biophilia

… and what she is doing for the environment.

The biophilia hypothesis suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book, Biophilia (1984). He defines biophilia as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life“. The term “biophilia” literally means “love of life or living systems.” It was first used by Erich Fromm to describe a psychological orientation of being attracted to all that is alive and vital. Wilson uses the term in the same sense when he suggests that biophilia describes “the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life” (source: Wikipedia).

2015_06_10-01 Biophilia project

The Biophilia Educational Project is a large-scale pilot project that builds on the participation of academics, scientists, artists, teachers and students at all academic levels. It is based around creativity as a teaching and research tool, where music, technology and the natural sciences are linked together in an innovative way. The project presents an example of dynamic collaboration between different areas in society, such as the education system, cultural institutions, science and research institutes. It creates a platform for dialogue and debate which encourages both personal and social development, thereby contributing to a sustainable society where new approaches are actively explored.
The project was originally developed by Björk Guðmundsdóttir, the City of Reykjavík and the University of Iceland, in connection with the release of Björk’s 2011 album Biophilia.



The Biophilia Educational Project aims to inspire children to explore their own creativity, while learning about music, nature and science through new technologies. The project has thus far mainly been aimed at children aged 10-12 years, and the programme is based on Björk’s Biophilia app suite of music and interactive, educational artefacts. Students learn through hands-on participation, composition and collaboration. Participants acquire the skills to develop their musical imagination, to push their creative boundaries and make music in an impulsive and responsive way, inspired by the structures and phenomena of the natural world.

“Dark matter” – Sigur Rós performing Ólsen Ólsen (in Vonlenska)

The Biophilia Educational project has the potential to bring arts experience to children who might otherwise not have access to it. The method tries to change the traditional way of teaching. It is based on the fundamental idea that it is best for children to start practising art with a creative process, where music, science and technology are linked in a new way.

Teachers, researchers, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs and other participants work across disciplines and school classes, subjects, science and art forms to introduce creativity as an educational method and, simultaneously, to stimulate greater environmental awareness in pupils and students.

Each app has its own theme (in connection with a corresponding song) and combines a natural element with a musicological feature. The layers of content in each feature include: an interactive game based on the song’s scientific and musical subject matter; a musical animation of the song; an animated score; lyrics; and an academic essay.

2015_06_10-03 Björk Biophilia


2015_06_10-06 Biophilia guideTeaching guidelines

Biophilia sparks children’s interest in nature, science and music (Green growth web magazine, April 2015)

Iceland’s Björk is transforming environmental education in Europe (Climate-KIC  News)

Bjork’s Biophilia on Wired2015_06_10-05 Björk Wired



Björk: Biophilia | Solstice app tutorial

You don’t know how? Ask Nature!

«Biomimicry is the conscious emulation of life’s genius. Innovation inspired by nature» – Janine M. Benuys, “Biomimicry“, 1997

2015_04_15-03 king fisherBiomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul. The core idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. After billions of years of research and development, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival. [from web site]

2015_04_15-04 AskNatureAskNature is the world’s most comprehensive catalog of nature’s solutions to human design challenges. This curated online library features free information on more than 1,800 (and growing!) natural phenomena and hundreds of bio-inspired applications. Think of AskNature as your home habitat. Whether you’re a designer, architect, engineer, or chemist looking for life-friendly solutions to a design challenge or a biologist who wants to share what you know about an amazing organism, AskNature is where biology and design cross-pollinate, so bio-inspired breakthroughs can be born. AskNature helps innovators understand how nature’s adaptations work, empowering them to mimic ideas that have evolved to thrive in balance with Earth’s complex systems.

2015_04_15-01 taxonomy

The Biomimicry Taxonomy [Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License. Version 6.0 © 2012 Biomimicry Institute]

Using the Biomimicry Taxonomy, it aligns natural inspiration with human challenges. A taxonomy is a system of classification. The Biomimicry Taxonomy is a classification system developed by the Biomimicry Institute to organize biological content on the website AskNature. The taxonomy categorizes the different ways that organisms and natural systems meet functional challenges.The Biomimicry Taxonomy organizes biology by function. In AskNature, the ways that organisms and systems have adapted in response to challenges are called strategies. Put another way, a strategy is how an organism does something and a function is why it does it. The Biomimicry Taxonomy is useful not just because it will help you navigate better on AskNature, but because it provides a framework that may help you understand your challenge differently.

2015_04_15-05 Biomimicry InstituteAskNature is built by and for the community. It is an initiative of the Biomimicry Institute, whose goal is to make the act of asking nature’s advice a normal part of everyday inventing. Isn’t AskNature simply one of the best web site in the world ?!? 🙂

2015_04_15-02 frog with umbrella