11 October 2011
I miss Anna Maria Orru!
We met at ATA's office, then in Islington, in 2003. Amongst other things she was running the refurbishment of Holles House, a block of flats in the Angell Town Estate, in Brixton. I, then on my year out, was working on the new building at Boatemah Walk, also at Angell Town. We've been close friends ever since. She left ATA a few months later and spend five or six years working with other interesting people, mostly in the field of sustainable design and later of Biomimicry. Just over a year and a half ago she settled in Stockholm. Part of me envies her... She's done it, alone, with a handful of contacts and a head full of ideas.
This term she's running a course at KTH on nature-inspired architecture and urbanism - I really wish I could be there. In the first lecture they look at the work of Hans Haacke, followed on by the 'systems-thinking (the process of understanding how things influence one another within a whole) aspect of ecosystems'. If you happen to be in Gothenburg at the end of the month, check out her seminar at the Nordic Architecture Fair.
And follow her blog here.
Also out just a few days ago is Michael Pawlin's new book Biomimicry in Architecture (Anna Maria was a collaborator at Exploration Architecture). It looks interesting and has a wonderful cover photograph.
But shouldn't all of us, designers, be looking at nature more? I can't think of anything more natural that to mimic the very best.
For a good read on Biomimicry try Janine Benyus book or watch her TED talk.