A world-spanning look at connections between structures and patterns in nature and those designed by modern architects.
Kaner introduces some prominent figures—among them “aquatect” Koen Olthius, Frank Gehry, and the granddaddy of “organic” architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright—as she leads readers past houses that float or rotate, a truss bridge in Japan and an earthquake-resistant one in Greece, some buildings made from tires or other recycled materials, others that collect rainwater or shed excess heat, Norman Foster’s London “Gherkin” (which was inspired by a type of sea sponge), and other examples of architectural biomimesis. In keeping with the premise, Wiens mixes schematic views of foundations and gracefully curving roofs or other structures with close-ups of roots, flowers, the trusses that lighten and strengthen a vulture’s metacarpal bones, hexagons in a beehive, and fractal patterns in leaves and in stone walls. A pair of simple hands-on projects demonstrate design principles, and a set of images of flora and fauna followed by a spread of actual buildings that resemble them offer a final invitation to budding designers to get going. Tiny human figures in a few of the painted illustrations display a range of skin tones.
An eye-opening survey for makers and observers alike. (index, resource list) (Informational picture book. 7-10)