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In-depth reading of a new innovation trigger, described in our theme "Nature's wonders" from Futur(s) 10

The year 2010, marked by numerous human and geopolitical upheavals, proclaimed International Year for Biodiversity, has offered great opportunities to raise awareness about the environmental emergency, through the rediscovery and observation of Nature's infinite treasures.

Nagoya's Summit ended the year on a positive agreement with the view to adopting a Plan of Action for biodiversity. Paving the way for a new, hope-bringing and less human-centered momentum, all the more crucial since Japan's triple disaster.

Our Futur(s) 10publication, in the theme ''Nature's Wonders'', explores this restored link to the living and the new forms that result from this co-operation between Nature, researchers, engineers, artists and designers. Seeing Nature differently, wondering at it, celebrating it as an example of ingenuity... Rather than a raw material supplier, a true ''teacher'', whose lessons full of common sense can inspire future creation and innovation.

Biodiversityis the natural variety of living organisms. It is assessed on the diversity of ecosystems, species, populations and genes through time and space. Maintaining biodiversity is a key component of sustainable development.

Emerging signs : celebrating the living


From left to right : 1. Close-up of wild seeds in UK Pavilion's structure at The World Expo Shanghai, end of 2010  2. Artist Björk presenting her new project ''Biophilia'' at Manchester International Festival, June 2011  3. Nancy Holt ''Sun tunnels'' presented at ''Land Art'' exhibition, Berlin's Hamburger Banhof, 2011-2012  4. Samples collected during the Santo expedition, ''Our Planet Reviewed'' exhibition

Observing, celebrating and paying tribute to the kingdom of life, not only to its beauty and diversity, but also to its intelligence... An approach that breeds scientific research as well as numerous forms of creation, in art or architecture.

1. The Heatherwick Studio's UK Pavilion in The World Expo 2010 Shanghai paid a tribute to Kew Gardens’ Millennium Seedbank, a conservatory that has already collected 10% of the world's wild seeds. Thousands of seeds were contained in the transparent acrylic rods that formed a ''Seed Cathedral''.

2. Icelandic singer Björk's new project, Biophilia, meaning Love of Life, acts as a true hymn to the living. It “celebrates how sound works in nature''. The album's songs are conceived as ''living organisms''. They'll will be able to grow, evolve and expand naturally, as music lovers make their contributions.

3. 'Our Planet Reviewed' exhibition bears testimony to this will to rediscover Nature's treasure house. Started in 2010, running for 10 years, it revives the tradition of the great naturalist expeditions, in decline since the colonial era when we thought we had discovered it all about Nature. We've known since the 80sthat 80% of the species are still unknown. In this context, dozens of scientists hit the ''neglected biodiversity'' road (invertebrates, insects, molluscs and fungi), in Mozambique and Madagascar.

4. Finally, the BerlinHamburger Banhof ''Land Art'' exhibition is another sign of this desire to establish a new relation between Man and Nature. This form of art, born at the end of the 60s, long fallen into disuse, used Nature both as a medium and a model.

Evolution of values : innovation through Nature observation

Way beyond artistic creation, this renewed contact with Nature also has practical implications on products, therefore influencing consumption. By seeing Nature differently, designers and engineers highlight the diversity of shapes and the ingenuity of natural processes. Their efficiency becomes an almost limitless source of thoughts and solutions for all areas of innovation...

Creative concept : bio inspiration 

Beyond biomorphism, sometimes a mere, superficial copy of Nature-inspired shapes, colors and ornaments (flowers, trees, insects or animals...), the ''Bio-inspiration'' creative concept developed in Futur(s)10focuses upon a higher level of the imitation of Nature. With a true lever effect in terms of product innovation: studying very efficient processes and mechanisms and integrating them in the animal or plant kingdoms.    


From left to right : 1.''Bone rocker'' Chair, by Joris Laarman  2. ''Morning glory lamp'', by Wendy Legro

1. This rocking chair is conceived after the natural regeneration process of bones, digitally modelled by SKO software (Soft Kill Option). When bones grow, the areas not highly required for strength will develop less bone mass. With all excess eliminated, a more efficient structure is created, with minimum use of material.

2. This lamp is made of nylon flowers equipped with light sensors. During daytime, the flowers let sunlight in. At night, they bloom and emit light.


From left to right: 1.''Rain collector skyscraper'' by Ryszard Rychlicki & Agnieszka Nowak 2.''Slippery when wet'', by Sharklet

1. Plants have developed systems to collect and re-use rainwater, thus better managing periods of water excess and shortages. Following the same principle, the architects have conceived a building where enough water is collected for the inhabitants’ daily needs.

2. Thanks to its structure, similar to the texture of sharkskin, this adhesive film prevents bacteria from breaking out.