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  • Mafer Hernandez

Bio-design: the future is in nature

Once I heard my biology teacher in high school said: nature is the most perfect thing here. The wound healing process, when a mammalian mother eats her own baby knowing that it won't survive in life, when your body gets used to waking up at the same time every day and then you no longer need an alarm. All those processes so perfect, it is simply nature developing its performance.

Although nature is the "set of things that exist in the world, which are produced or modified without human intervention" and works as perfect systems and machines, technology then arrives, to imitate the way in which nature works and thus create mechanisms, machines and gadgets that have a single and exclusive purpose: solving human beings' problems.

Technology since the begining, has had as main purpose to provide human beings with a more comfortable life at whatever cost. Later, it not only solved problems for us, but gave us comforts that we didn't even asked for. Amazing, right? In this era, where human beings were so used to receiving everything on a silver platter and technology divining our thoughts, what happens when the resources that gave us all these comforts are running out?

I think many of us lived without taking into account that everything has an end and a limit, until nature began to give us red flags -such as radical climate change- as indications that we had to change our ways to doing business , our ways of having fun, our ways of consuming and our ways of living.

Fortunately, the human being has decided to take more and more into account these red flags thrown at us by nature and has developed branches - with the help of technology, of course - that are capable of reducing our impact in the earth, trying to conserve all these comforts that human beings are used to. One of these branches is bio design.

Bio design is the branch of technology that is responsible for studying the processes and mechanisms under which nature works to later develop systems based on the simulation of these processes with the use of organic and / or recycled matter. In other words, it "artificially" recreates natural processes using organic or recycled ingredients and materials. Below here, we will give you some examples of bio design applied in the fashion industry, as it is currently the second most polluting industry in the world as it has immeasurable productions everyday.

1. Zoa: the biofabricated leather t- shirt. This shirt was designed and produced by Modern Meadow, a new company that is responsible for manufacturing materials specifically to sell them to the fashion industry. The leather of this shirt was obtained by cultivating collagen obtained from animals (without the need to hurt them) and later melted and assembled without the need for seams and plastic threads.

The first place where this garment was exhibited was at MOMA, at a fashion show and Modern Meadow is currently working with a luxury fashion brand to develop a collection. They are also exploring more possibilities of fabrics to design and produce more garments and they hope that in 5 or 10 years, will be easier to acquire these types of products and the price will be more accessible.

2. The Pangolin Backpack: this backpack is designed and produced by the Colombian company Cyclus, which mainly markets all kinds of bags while taking care of the environment, since each and every one of its products are made with rubber from car tires. The Pangolin design, bases its structure on the body of an armadillo and is aimed mainly at motorcyclists, as it has the perfect shape and size to store a helmet and when it is not being used, it can be folded so it won't take up so much space. In addition, its resistance is capable of withstanding any scrape or fall.

3. PUMA Bio-Evolution: with the help of the Fraunhofer Institute, PUMA is developing this new project called “Bioevolution”, which uses microorganisms in its garments. At this year's Milan Design Week, PUMA and the Fraunhofer Institute presented as a result, a shoe that uses microorganisms to remove sweat from the areas of the foot where it's most concentrated, how? through benign bacteria and fungi that have the ability to feel sweat and then begin to perspire through a ventilation system.

As Joris Laarman -Dutch designer- said: "our digital age makes it possible not only to use nature as a stylistic reference, but also to use its principles to generate forms as an evolutionary process". I firmly believe that it's not necessary to sacrifice absolutely all our comforts to lead a more sustainable life, today using technology and all the benefits that we have: wisely and consciously, means a great step to take care of the environment and at the same time, take care of ourselves. Taking into account the benefits we can offer to nature so it also continues offering benefits to us.

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