Michael Pawlyn takes cues from nature to make new, sustainable architectural environments.
Michael Pawlyn established the architecture firm Exploration in 2007 to focus on environmentally sustainable projects that take their inspiration from nature.
Prior to setting up the company, Pawlyn worked with the firm Grimshaw for ten years and was central to the team that radically re-invented horticultural architecture for the Eden Project. He was responsible for leading the design of the Warm Temperate and Humid Tropics Biomes and the subsequent phases that included proposals for a third Biome for plants from dry tropical regions. In 1999 he was one of five winners in A Car-free London, an ideas competition for strategic solutions to the capital’s future transport needs and new possibilities for urban spaces. In September 2003 he joined an intensive course in nature-inspired design at Schumacher College, run by Amory Lovins and Janine Benyus. He has lectured widely on the subject of sustainable design in the UK and abroad.
His Sahara Forest Project, covered in this TEDTalk, recently won major funding >>
“If we could learn to make things and do things the way nature does, we could achieve factor 10, factor 100, maybe even factor 1,000 savings in resource and energy use.”
“You could look at nature as being like a catalog of products, and all of those have benefited from a 3.8-billion-year research and development period.”
“Consider that we receive 10,000 times as much energy from the sun every year as we use in energy from all forms — 10,000 times. So our energy problems are not intractable. It’s a challenge to our ingenuity.”