Nature is the Penultimate Innovator

Before humans ever conceived of sustainable design, nature was doing a good job. Plants and animals have evolved to use energy efficiently, to be multi-functional yet balanced, and to use information to carry out living processes. The 2016 Biomicry Global Design Challenge challenges designers to mine nature for new ideas and one of the 10 winners, the NexLoop rain harveting concept, an air conditioner designed to be retrofitted to building farcade of within a window. Its biomimicry comes from the surfaces that draw in the water and then absorb it. On the vertical, these are hydrophobic—like lotus leaves—funneling water downwards. On the horizontal, the surface is hydrophilic—like an ice plant—drawing water in. The idea is that you could install it and leave it, never having to draw on the municipal water system again.