Beautiful Thinking: Michael Pawlyn’s Story

Beautiful Thinking is taking inspiration from nature

There is perhaps no single greater source for beautiful thinking than nature – an amazing catalogue of success stories refined by 3.8bn years of evolution.

Biomimicry is a rapidly emerging discipline that learns from the time-tested strategies of nature and applies the lessons to our own design approaches. It recognises that nature has already created inherently sustainable strategies to overcome many of the problems currently facing mankind. And by taking this resourcefulness as our inspiration, it is possible to unlock radical new solutions to some of the key environmental challenges of our age.

Examples of nature’s efficiency can be found all around us – we take inspiration from many species and elements. For example, termite mounds. The intricate self-cooling structures built into their design have inspired new approaches to air conditioning systems, which require just 10% of the energy needed for conventional alternatives.

Or consider the random beauty of the forest floor – which prompted Interface to create a new category of carpet tile featuring completely unique patterning and colouring. The result was an innovative flooring system that substantially reduced installation time and cut waste by up to 90%, when compared to traditional broadloom carpet.

The potential is limitless – we’re only at the beginning of understanding just how far the blueprint of biology can help us become more resource efficient. But beautiful thinking is helping us push the boundaries further.

Find out more about Michael and his work at

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