Inside SCI-Arc


Nature Inspired Architecture and Design in Focus at AIA│LA COTE Panel
Los Angeles Biodiversity, collage by im studio mi/la, Alice Guarisco (

The complex interplay between the natural and artificial landscape of Los Angeles provides a platform to explore the lessons offered by the natural world. Enter biomimicry—the idea of emulating strategies nature has already perfected.

The application of bio-inspired design, animal skins and building envelopes, is central to one of the discussions hosted Saturday, March 16, 5-7:30 pm by AIA Los Angeles as part of its COTE panel series. Moderated by Sam Lubell, West Coast editor of the Architect’s Newspaper, the conversation features SCI-Arc faculty members Russell Fortmeyer, sustainability consultant with the LA office of global engineering firm Arup, and Tom Wiscombe, principal of Los Angeles based Tom Wiscombe Design.

Co-chaired by Ilaria Mazzoleni, who also teaches at SCI-Arc, and Deborah Richmond, the AIA│LA COTE seeks to explore, discuss, compile and broadcast information about the impacts, both positive and negative, of the city’s urban geography.

Mazzoleni, who has been teaching and working with the concept of biomimicry in architecture for nearly 10 years, said in a recent interview with Nate Berg for “You don't design a set of roads in isolation but in relation to buildings, to the sewer system below or to the cabling. There are a lot of invisible elements that go into it. And nature is really a master example of making different things work one to the other and eliminating things that don't fit in the picture.”

The AIA│LA COTE event is open to the public and will be held at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, located at 900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007. (museum parking is $10)

For more information, click HERE.