Melissa Sterry: Building a Bionic City: Science Fiction or Future Science Fact? #STU12

This presentation was given on February 16th, 8 pm GMT, by Melissa Sterry, @MelissaSterry, a design scientist, futurist and transformational change strategist to the built environment, utilities, manufacturing, design, publishing, media and communications industries. A PhD researcher at the Advanced Virtual and Technological Architecture Research group (AVATAR) at University of Greenwich, she is developing The Bionic City™: a sustainable smart city it transfers knowledge from Earth’s ecosystems to a blueprint for a metropolis with resilience to extreme meteorological and geological events, enabling reduced structural damage and loss of life from events including flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, eruptions and earthquakes. A Visiting Fellow of Sustainable Innovation in Design & Media and Assembly member at University of Salford, Melissa is a Visiting Lecturer and Guest Critic at universities including the AA School of Architecture. A member of the scientific committee of the International Bionic Engineering Society, she is a speaker, panel chair and workshop host at international sustainability conferences and seminars including EcoBuild, European Future Energy Forum, Forum for the Built Environment, World Congress on Sustainable Technologies, International Bionic Engineering Conference, Tomorrow’s Natural Business Conference and Sustainable Business in Practice. Published in over 50 international titles, including sustain’ magazine of which she is an editorial board member, Melissa is Director and Head of Technology at 360 media group Earth 2 Hub Ltd, which aims to re-establish a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature using art, science and digital creativity. A multi-award winning social entrepreneur she was listed in the Future 100 (2008), as one of the young business leaders changing the face of everyday business and improving commerce’s impact on the wider world. The creator of catalyst for rapid innovation in sustainable design NEW FRONTIERS™, which was the first prize winner of the Great Exhibition 2012 competition, she is an inductee of the Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the Mensa Education and Research Foundation International Award for Benefit to Society 2010 for exceptional commitment to enhancing intelligence which benefits society.

Links to further reading below.

Tweeter

Melissa Sterry

Room

#STU12

Hello, I’m @MelissaSterry, PhD Researcher at the Advanced Virtual and Technological Architecture Research group at @UniofGreenwich #STU12
8:01 PM
My other affiliations include that of Visiting Fellow / Lecturer at @SalfordUni and Director / Head of Technology at @Earth2Hub #STU12
8:02 PM
Thank you for joining me this evening. I hope you find this @Twitter lecture interesting and look forward to your participation #STU12
8:02 PM
NATURE #STU12 Swedish Twitter University Lecture Tweets 1 – 5
8:02 PM
The study of past and present species provides humanity with 3.8 billion years worth of research and development to learn from #STU12
8:03 PM
“Life is stranger than fiction”, which many an ecologist would tell you is absolutely true i.e. http://t.co/CuAsE5SH #STU12
8:03 PM
Our understanding of the natural world is rapidly expanding, as we join the dots between species to understand ecosystems #STU12
8:04 PM
New #technology enables scientists to uncover that which was hidden, including symbiotic relationships previously unknown to science #STU12
8:04 PM
Much of this new understanding of the natural world is transferable and we call that science #Bionics, also known as #Biomimicry #STU12
8:04 PM
#STU12 CLASS HOMEWORK – To develop your understanding of #Nature volunteer for a conservation programme like http://t.co/TS5AYDAA
8:05 PM
BIONICS #STU12 Swedish Twitter University Lecture Tweets 6 – 10
8:06 PM
The origins of Bionics are ancient. Humanity has been mimicking nature for millennia, in every inhabitable continent and civilization #STU12
8:06 PM
A great many of Da Vinci’s most inspired inventions were #Biomimetic, born of his extensive, life-long study of the natural world #STU12
8:07 PM
Today #Biomimicry is growing in popularity as humanity realises that nature has already cracked many of the problems we seek to solve #STU12
8:07 PM
Biomimicry should not be confused with #Biomorphism, the latter is concerned with aesthetics, the former with scientific knowledge #STU12
8:07 PM
If you have a design problem, there is most likely an ecologist who can tell you how nature has already solved it. Hug an Ecologist! #STU12
8:08 PM
#STU12 CLASS HOMEWORK – To develop your #Bionic skills gather some friends & try this workshop http://t.co/PwMkzy6J #BionicCity #Biomimicry
8:09 PM
RESILIENCE #STU12 Swedish Twitter University Lecture Tweets 11 – 15
8:10 PM
My interest is in nature’s ability to solve the problems presented by extreme meteorological and geological hazards, like eruptions #STU12
8:11 PM
I am researching the hypothesis that where humanity sees a glass half-empty, nature sees a glass half-full. I look beyond #Resilience STU12
8:11 PM
Humanity sees wildfires as catastrophes. Indigenous flora in fire-prone regions, such as the Banksia, build fire into their lifecycle #STU12
8:11 PM
Wildfires restore nutrients to the soil, as do many other so called ‘natural disasters’, such as floods and eruptions #STU12
8:12 PM
There is no such thing as a ‘natural disaster’, only natural hazards that humanity has not worked out how to deal with, yet #STU12
8:12 PM
#STU12 CLASS HOMEWORK To develop your #Resilience knowledge add the books listed here to your reading list http://t.co/cVlUkqpg
8:13 PM
ADAPTABILITY #STU12 Swedish Twitter University Lecture Tweets 16 – 20
8:13 PM
Once upon a now distant time, a building that could adapt to a changing environment was the stuff of Sci-Fi, not any more #STU12
8:14 PM
Emergent technologies enable us to build responsive architecture able to change colour, texture, shape and structure #STU12
8:15 PM
Smart materials will enable the future building envelope to harvest water, light and energy and distribute it locally and remotely #STU12
8:15 PM
Together with structural adaptability, will merge smart communications that track environmental changes, such as weather patterns #STU12
8:15 PM
Smart city technologies enable us to connect city infrastructure/services to mimic the symbiotic relationships found in ecosystems #STU12
8:17 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
#STU12 Would you give famines the same sort of analysis as you give wildfires? Humans are part of nature too, right?
8:18 PM
Retweeting point 17, as it appears to have disappeared from the #STU12 stream, here it comes again…
8:19 PM
Emergent technologies enable us to build responsive architecture able to change colour, texture, shape and structure #STU12 RTW
8:20 PM
.@SteveFuller Droughts yes, famines no, the former is a natural hazard, the latter is a man-made one, often caused by politics #STU12
8:22 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
#STU12 Actually, the very distinction between a drought and a famine is a political one.
8:23 PM
.SteveFuller But the human intervention point your raise is key – humans are animals and we are part of ecosystems… #STU12
8:23 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
#STU12 OK, but perhaps wildfires shouldnt be so easily justified because there may be politics behind their occurrence too
8:25 PM
.SteveFuller I can see your point… the dinosaurs were wiped out by a form of famine, perhaps there’s a lesson there somewhere?! #STU12
8:25 PM
.SteveFuller I disagree. Some wildfires are the result of misguided land management, but others are wholly natural events… #STU12
8:28 PM
.SteveFuller …and the evidence of that is in the resilience strategies ecosystems in historically fire-prone regions have evolved #STU12
8:28 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
#STU12 If you haven’t yet, you might want to look at the various responses to the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. It really started this discussion
8:29 PM
.SteveFuller I am very familiar with the 1755 earthquake and the major quakes the past millennia… #STU12
8:30 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
@SvTwuni #STU12 If youve got a good way of distinguishing human/non-human causation, that would really help matters
8:30 PM
.@SteveFuller I think we can learn a lot from the 1755 quake response, but, technology provides us with new resilience options. #STU12
8:31 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
@SvTwuni #STU12 My point about Lisbon is that Melissa’s view of wildfires resembles the natural theology response
8:32 PM
@dromograf
RT @MelissaSterry: To follow my #STU12 lecture “Building a Bionic City: Sci-Fi or Future Science Fact?” at 8pm GMT tonight follow @SvTwuni http://t.co/r8nU2qo5
8:32 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
@SvTwuni #STU12 In other words, the only harm we see done by nature is a function of our ignorance of how it fits in the overall design
8:33 PM
.@SteveFuller If we accept this is The Anthropocene, the No. of occasions the buck for hazard lies with humanity could be manyfold #STU12
8:35 PM
.@SteveFuller However, long before humanity arrived other species collectively evolved to accommodate events we’re struggling with… #STU12
8:36 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
@SvTwuni #STU12 Yes, but it’s hard to measure the opportunity costs of these forms of accommodations, so there are no easy lessons
8:39 PM
.SteveFuller Yes, I’m stating that the context of the harm created by hazards is a function of our ignorance of the overall design #STU12
8:39 PM
@stevefuller
@SvTwuni Wrong @stevefuller you want @ProfSteveFuller 🙂
8:39 PM
.SteveFuller Agree, it’s not easy measuring the economic value of new approaches to hazards, however….#STU12
8:41 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
@SvTwuni #STU12 No problem from me –as long as it leads to a constructive engagement with nature not simply tolerance for whatever happens
8:41 PM
.@SteveFuller When the cost to the global economic of both natural/man-made disasters thundered in at $350 Billion in 2011… #STU12
8:43 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
@SvTwuni #STU12 Very much in agreement!
8:44 PM
.@SteveFuller … and the loss of 30,000 lives there is an argument for exploring some new approaches to natural hazards #STU12
8:44 PM
.@SteveFuller … tolerance of loss, absolutely not, which is where the last 5 tweets come in 🙂 #STU12
8:45 PM
#STU12 CLASS HOMEWORK To learn more about how emergent #ARCHITECTURE innovations are changing cities read http://t.co/djAXLduz
8:46 PM
BIONIC CITY #STU12 Swedish Twitter University Lecture Tweets 21 – 25
8:46 PM
The #BionicCity explores the hypothesis of creating a metropolis with resilience to natural hazards through biomimicry #STU12
8:46 PM
The hypothesis joins the dots between ecosystem responses to hazards and emergent technologies that could enable us to mimic them #STU12
8:46 PM
Informing the #BionicCity model requires bringing together interdisciplinary expertise, including ecologists, chemists and engineers #STU12
8:47 PM
Both hi and low-tech innovations are integral to the model – the technological and the biological merging into one integrated system #STU12
8:47 PM
@cerreyes
RT @SvTwuni: “Life is stranger than fiction”, which many an ecologist would tell you is absolutely true i.e. http://t.co/qRa0bpEd #STU12
8:47 PM
@stevefuller
I’m not the @stevefuller you are looking for #STU12 …you wan @ProfSteveFuller
8:50 PM
Could a #BionicCity become a reality? Discuss…. #STU12
8:51 PM
@stevefuller @ProfSteveFuller Apols!
8:51 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
@SvTwuni #STU12 I think #BionicCity is a great idea but it will be interesting to see political and economic trail that it generates.
8:54 PM
@SinkDeep
@SvTwuni we could, first, we need to get rid of what it obstructs sharing knowledge to do so. IP won´t help build a #bionic city
8:55 PM
@stevefuller
@SvTwuni @profstevefuller Famous for five minutes!
8:53 PM
.@ProfSteveFuller Agree. Technically it’s possible now. Politically/economically it could take an eternity… #STU12
8:57 PM
.ProfSteveFuller I mentioned Da Vinci earlier… it took a few hundred years for some of his ideas to manifest… #STU12
8:57 PM
.@ProfSteveFuller …perhaps in the year 2500, still around thanks to cyborg tech I may see the idea become a reality 🙂 #STU12
8:58 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
@SvTwuni #STU12 I’m more concerned that it might become an elite preoccupation, with a few ‘visionary’ humans treating the rest as ‘nature’
8:59 PM
.@ProfSteveFuller The same is sadly true of all scientific ideas; a good idea in the wrong hands is a dangerous thing indeed #STU12
9:01 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
@SvTwuni #STU12 I’m glad you guys promoting this stuff realize it. A little HG Wells comes in handy at times like this.
9:02 PM
.ProfSteveFuller However, I keep that glass half full, because sometimes the good guys win, just not often enough! #STU12
9:02 PM
#STU12 CLASS HOMEWORK Learn more about the #BionicCity at http://t.co/YxfE5ybn
9:03 PM
Thank you @SvTwuni for hosting #STU12 and to @ProfSteveFuller for the thought provoking questions. It’s been a pleasure!
9:07 PM
@JohnsenWSU
Very interesting discussion. Thanks for the great materials you have provided! RT @ProfSteveFuller: @SvTwuni #STU12 Great job, Melissa!
9:14 PM
@ProfSteveFuller
@SvTwuni #STU12 Great job, Melissa!
9:08 PM

Further reading

The Bionic City – http://www.scoop.it/t/the-bionic-city

Earth 2 Hub http://www.earth2hub.com

Sterry, M, “Creating Resilient Cities in-Step with the Seasons”, This Big City, published October 31 2011, http://thisbigcity.net/creating-resilient-citie-in-step-with-the-seasons

Phillips, A, “Earth 2.0: An Interview with Melissa Sterry”, The Urban Times, September 21 2011, http://www.theurbn.com/2011/09/earth-2-0-an-interview-with-melissa-sterry

Peach, J, “Creating Adaptable Cities: An Interview with Melissa Sterry”, This Big City, September 13 2011, http://thisbigcity.net/creating-adaptable-cities-an-interview-with-melissa-sterry

Sterry, M, “Bionic New World: How Would Nature Design a City?”, sustain’ magazine, September 01 2011, http://sustainmagazine.com/september-october-issue-of-sustain-magazine

Sterry, M, “Building The Bionic City: The Ultimate Smart City”, URBN FUTR, July 05 2011, http://urbnfutr.theurbn.com/2011/07/building-the-bionic-city-the-ultimate-smart-city/

Sterry, M, “Building a Bionic City”, Sustainable Business, February 4 2011, http://content.yudu.com/A1qs1m/SBFeb11/resources/28.htm

Sterry, M, “The Bionic City, A Natural Blueprint for Future Cities”, This Big City, December 13 2010, http://thisbigcity.net/the-bionic-city-a-natural-blueprint-for-future-cities

Laylin, T, “Interview: Melissa Sterry and The City That Loves Floods”, Green Prophet, October 31 2010, http://www.greenprophet.com/2010/10/interview-melissa-sterry-and-the-city-that-loves-floods/

 

Advertisements

2 responses to “Melissa Sterry: Building a Bionic City: Science Fiction or Future Science Fact? #STU12

  1. Pingback: Building a Bionic City: Science Fiction or Future Science Fact? #STU12 | The Bionic City | Scoop.it

  2. Pingback: Melissa Sterry: Building a Bionic City: Science Fiction or Future ... | Everything goes sci-fi | Scoop.it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s