“Let’s learn from the amazing performances of the neighborhood”

“Let’s learn from the amazing performances of the neighborhood”

It is a very beautiful word, mimicking nature. This means design techniques are inspired by nature – often more efficient and less use of materials and energy. But this development also brings, above all, a philosophical rupture, argues Tarik Çikkak. Having worked for a long time on Cousteau’s team, this environmental engineer became an expert at the coveted Institute of the Future, a training place linked to questions of foresight and innovation. Will be one of the guests of the third edition of Acting for a live celebrationfrom Monday 22 August to Sunday 28 August in Arles, of which UBS is a partner.

By mimicking nature, human technologies are increasingly becoming inspired by nature. But we were able to do great things without imitating him, right?

Sequel after the announcement

The main question is first of all to bring out technologies that satisfy our human needs without destroying what allows other creatures to satisfy their needs. In the so-called “nature-based solutions”, it is not just about drawing inspiration from a termite mound to design buildings or from shark skin to imagine marine coatings: it is above all developing a new relationship with living, which should no longer be considered a resource outside of us. He is an ally we can count on. We can no longer continue to believe that “nature” consists of a set of mechanically adjacent, isolated elements that we humans ignore. On the contrary, it is a system that is constantly interacting, and we are completely a part of it.

Does inspiration from living things disturb our way of innovation so much?

Simple example: the living economy is largely carbon-fixing. Growing trees or the shells of marine invertebrates requires carbon, which is not a problem, it is a resource! What if, instead of painstakingly reducing our emissions, we tried to fix carbon instead of emit? It will be a revolution!

READ  In 24 hours, this city loses 33 degrees Celsius and goes from heat wave to snow
Tariq Shakshak, a specialist in biomimicry. (big robin)

But is nature always right?

First, beware of language acronyms: “nature” is not a thinking being with a specific goal in mind. The Earth is a symmetric living system, meaning that it tends towards more or less stable balances which can vary according to times. So, strictly speaking, life does not “seek” anything: equilibrium is achieved by many sequences of trial and error. Since evolution has continued for billions of years, it has been able to cause, at the species level, technologies with hallucinogenic performance. The abalone shell, for example, is lighter and stronger than the armor of the Leclerc tank of equal thickness! However, it is made of chalk, which is a very friable material. But it is the arrangement of the small chalk tiles, superimposed in a hard layer, then a soft layer, that generates the stiffness. Few Elements, but Complex Arrangements: This is a strategy that goes against what we humans do.

Sequel after the announcement

Ecology? Teach us, and by reading our special issue, you will know

this to say?

Where we manufacture things using a wide variety of chemical elements – a real raid on Mendeleev’s table! -, where we place tremendous value on certain elements because of their scarcity, such as gold or lithium, the economy of life often uses only a few elements. The most abundant are: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur. Through these “LEGOs” life allowed the emergence of sober technologies, without constant toxicity and remarkable efficiency. Do you realize that our industries need 1250 degrees Celsius to melt glass, when algae called diatoms and seabed sponge called “Venus basket” make the best glass structures in cold water. 2 or 3 degrees Celsius… during carbon fixation! Some industries have been inspired by the design of the ‘sol/gel’ glass-in-water process to design glass and microbead coatings used in pharmacy.

READ  Visual and auditory, neurological myth? probably

Without creating any waste…

It’s a bit cliched, that the living economy also produces waste, which sometimes stays for a very long time, like underground oil or coal seams. Another cliché is to imagine that after 3.8 billion years of good and faithful service, life will only get better and today you will bring everything to perfection. In fact, it is a process of permanent change, based on interactions between living things. What is beneficial in one context may be counterproductive in another. Thus, in the world emerging from the industrial revolutions, a hierarchical system of organization [dans le sens : hiérarchisé, NDLR]And the With binding procedures and a clear division of tasks it is very effective. But it is not very agile if the environment becomes uncertain! When it comes to adapting to an iceberg, the Titanic hardly works anymore…

Sequel after the announcement

Does this change in the relationship to the neighborhoods you claim allow us to hope for a new era?

We can’t swear by that, of course, but I’m convinced we’re living in some kind of renaissance. The Renaissance marked a major change in our relationship with science and with people. The continuing Copernican revolution is the need to reconsider our place in the web of life. In the face of the systemic imbalances we cause, we can no longer consider ourselves “the masters and owners of nature,” in the words of René Descartes. In pain arises awareness of our dependence on other species, with which we are evolutionary cousins. At the same time, it would be good to preserve the advantages brought by previous periods: humanity, the scientific method … It is time to break out of this mechanistic view of biology, but without rejecting, above all, these precious contributions .

READ  'The Room', James Thierry's untamed mental space at Châtelet

Agir pour le Vivant: a week to think about tomorrow

How do we lay the foundations for the society of tomorrow, a sustainable, just and resilient society? This is what the Agir pour le Vivant festival, which will take place in Arles from Monday 22 August to Sunday 28 August and in which “l’Obs” will participate, is working in its third edition. In the program, a week of discussions, meetings and workshops in which the philosophers Edgar Morin and Dominique Bohr will participate; Historian Achille Mbembe. Committed environmental authors such as Rob Hopkins, Camille Etienne, Cyril Dion, Céline Menard, Victoire Toilon; Mathilde Emmer, On the Origin of the Citizens Climate Agreement; naturalists Gilbert and Beatrice Kremer Cochet; Art historian Estelle Zhong Mengual has been awarded the 2022 EcoloObs Essay Award for “Learning to Watch” (Actes Sud)…

The full program: www.agirpourlevivant.fr/programme-arles-2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *