Design - Learning from Nature

The cell – the pneu

Form and stability resulting from the combination of an outer membrane and the inner pressure resulting from a fluid or gaseous medium. Several cells can connect to form complex organisms of any kind. All structures of living nature are based on this pneu-cell-principle

1. The single cell organism is a pneu and is the basic building block for all living forms

2. Cell structure of leaf cross section

3. Soap bubbles are pneus


4. Berry-Pneu

5. The body of a larva consists of individual pneus

006foetus 15semaines

6. The origin home for every human being is a pneu - the placenta

During the process of evolution the natural world has developed structures for optimal performance and efficiency.

There is no objective criteria for “beauty”, but any human being can intuitively understand the way biological constructions are optimized for survival, and consequently regards them as beautiful.

Also artificial structures shall freely develop according to their identity as a germinating seed.
In this case the designer’s inspiration combined with logical thought, imagination and knowledge metaphorically is a fertile ground for creation. Any further formalistic intention applied to the design would lead away from optimal solutions.

To find the right form, imagine yourself empty, free and as shapeless as the air.
Fill a balloon with air and it is the balloon.
When air fills a room it becomes the room.
When you breathe air into your lungs, it enters your bloodstream and becomes a part of yourself.
Air can be soft and barely perceivable or rip out trees with the fury of a hurricane.
Air cannot be carved or shaped or forced into a form.

In the case of a pneumatic construction two opposing factors are working together:
Flexible air and the flexible membrane.

However when we fully comprehend the nature of air, predetermined factors can be set in which the air in combination with the membrane independently assumes the desired shape. Air reveals itself as a building material with enormous potential with previously unexplored possibilities……