Just opening in Paris at the newly minted Le Lieu du Design is a show by MateriO, the Paris-based materials library. Entitled Inspired by Nature, it showcases a collection of materials and technologies developed from the natural world, from the most artisanal (amazing silicon jewellery that looks exactly like coral formations) to the most industrial. One of the most famous examples of an industrial application from a natural material is Lotusan technology, inspired by lotus leaves, which are water and dirt-proof.

Since 1999, Lotusan surfacing treatment has been applied to everything from concrete to glass and porcelain, allowing these materials to self-clean and thus avoid the use of toxic chemicals on large-scale buildings.

French designer and TED-speaker Mathieu Lehanneur was also present with Andrea, which he developed with David Edwards of Harvard.

Though very aesthetic and enigmatic, I have always been a bit skeptical of this product. What can clean air better than a plant itself? Why is a plastic device needed? Mathieu explained that most plants can only clean the air using their leaves, while this product brings air through the leaves and roots via a special filtering system. The result is 50 times greater air cleaning efficiency (as proven by lab tests).

Other installations featured fish skin leather from Iceland and iridescent pigments that mimic butterfly wings.

Nature is a terrain of infinite inspiration…



~ by lisacwhite on March 18, 2010.

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