Mimicry in architecture: the imitation of the greatest design

Mimicry in architecture: the imitation of the greatest design

From ecosystems, animals, and insects. To snowflakes, cells, and molecules. Nature speaks in geometric codes.

The universe is composed of an infinite number of intersected and complex systems, from macro to micro. They are reigned and structured in such logic that bears the secret of the creation.

We, humans, are part of the system. And one itself that inhabits many more. Yet, we are distinguishable by our expressionist consciousness and our ability to act and alter our environment.

As an intelligent system, we create other organisms and systems. We follow a logic to create a function and fulfill a need. Among these latter is architecture. We plan, trace and build in order.

Architectural creation is an expression of civilization, a production of the intellect. However, it submits to the same rules of the universe and sources images from nature, whether intentionally or by default:

Foundations ground a building and roots ground a tree

Both a human body and a building inclose a support structure, a skeleton.

In order for this man-made system to reach full capacity and be sustainable, it turned to nature for answers. It observes it and mimics it.


Biomimicry is the conscious observation and study of nature to find solutions and create durable design systems. It shows three levels of imitation:

Organic: it imitates forms and shapes of nature to acquire the same properties that make them adapt and work within the environment.

Behavioral: it consists of imitating a process that nature uses to fulfill a function.

Ecosystem: It studies and mimics a whole ecosystem by understanding the different relations between its components and environment, which assures its stability and effectiveness.

Sacred geometry

Mathematics is the language of the universe. It rules its chaotic order and creates some of its most beautiful imagery.

The study of bio-geometry detects the pattern of nature and its ratios that evoke a sense of likeness and beauty.

Most proportions in nature and our bodies are formulated according to the golden ratio, which makes us subconsciously resonate with it and look for it in our surroundings.

In architecture, proportions and scales are the keys to a great design. Thus,  implementing this ratio in buildings imparts balance and aesthetics, making them more relatable to the human eye and the environment.

The architecture of the universe:

The first tools that man used to decipher the world are his senses. Through observation and questioning, he learned about and from his environment.

This contemplation of the genesis is a sacred practice meant to bring men to see the grandiosity of the divine design and live in harmony within it.

Do they not ever reflect on camels—how they were ˹masterfully˺ created;

And at the sky – how it is raised?

And at the mountains – how they are erected?

And at the earth – how it is spread out?

So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder

[Quran 88:17-21]

He created the heavens without pillars that you see and has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it should shift with you, and dispersed therein from every creature. And We sent down rain from the sky and made grow therein [plants] of every noble kind.”

[Quran 31:10-11]

The holy texts insinuate the importance of reflection on the images of nature and the absolute design: How the earth is set with no visible structure and is able to harbor all. This leaves us to think if, in fact, creativity is the relative imitation of the absolute act of creation.

Conversely, what’s certain, is the necessity to seek refuge in nature and build according to its rules for a better equilibrium of the mind and the environment.