Explaining Bionics-Based Life Criteria in Planning and Designing Human Settlements

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Architecture, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Nature has done trial and error for 3/8 billion years and during this time only the optimal and most efficient natural structures remain, which can be the source of inspiration for human beings in solving its problems. Bionics is a science that by looking at Nature and living systems finds solutions to human challenges in design and construction. On the other hand, human settlements as the most important part of human habitats, despite advanced technologies rather than the past, have no desirable quality. The special quality that is called "life" in this study. Therefore, the main question of the study is that what the bionics-based life criteria for using in planning and designing human settlements are?
Methodology: This study, based on the objective, is a fundamental one. It is a qualitative research that is done by a descriptive-analytic method. In the first part, the basic theories related to the field of research are compiled by library research and theoretical framework is formed. The method of data analyzing in this section is logical reasoning. In the second part, regard to the widespread of life definition and the lack of consensus on it, Delphi technique has been used. In this method, during three rounds of sequential surveying and anonymity of the panelists, life criteria are compiled, categorized, modified, summarized, ranked and presented. Since, in the homogeneous groups, 10 to 15 panelists are sufficient, 10 specialists and experts in the field of urban planning, urban design and architecture are selected for the second and third Delphi rounds. SPSS software (Cochran test, mean method, standard deviation, and variance) was used to analyze the findings of the research.
Results and discussion: In the first round, data (life criteria) was compiled based on the theoretical framework of Delphi technique by library and field research from the perspective of experts in the fields of biology, physics, philosophy, theology, urban planning, and architecture. then, based on the definitions provided for each criterion and by using content analysis, analogy and logical reasoning method, some of the 135 criteria were categorized, deleted and combined. Finally, 85 criteria were extracted. In the second and third rounds of Delphi technique, experts were asked to classify criteria in addition to commenting, categorizing, combining, or deleting them. Finally, 7 criteria were extracted in 3 classes.
In order to measure the similarity of experts' opinion about the obtained criteria, the Cochran test was designed and done. The Asymp. Sig. (0/806) is greater than the confidence interval (0/05), which indicates that, at the alpha value of 0/05, there is no significant difference between the experts' opinion about the criteria obtained in the third round of Delphi technique. In other words, with a 95% confidence interval, the experts' view is convergent and there is no need to repeat Delphi rounds. In the end, in order to rank the criteria based on their role and importance in giving life to human settlements, panelists were asked to express their opinion in five states of the Likert scale. The results of this assessment show that in terms of importance, all criteria are more than the average (2/5) and range from 3/4 to 4/9. Also, the obtained variance (0/498) indicates that scores are not scattered and the experts agree about the importance of the criteria. In the following, life criteria are introduced with examples of nature:
1. Wholeness: Each part of a system is simultaneously self-reliant and always part of a larger system in the universe around it which is deeply attached to it. Bell's theorem, which expresses the deep integration between the structure of material and space, or Mach's principle, which states that particles of a material are deeply interrelated, are examples of wholeness in Nature. 2. Evolution: Each part of a system must move by either an external force or an internal one. Reproduction of plants and animals and Natural selection theory are examples of evolution in Nature. 3. Compatibility: The ability of a system to develop and maintain its inner order without control from outside. Bending trees in the wind, Changing color of chameleons are examples of compatibility in Nature. 4. Optimization: Each part of a system must be energy efficient in order to survive. Optimum structure of plants and animal skeletons in terms of material are examples of optimization in Nature. 5. Order: The placement of everything in its place, including mathematical and physical order. The order of transferring genes from generation to generation is an example of order in Nature. 6. Permeability: Exchange of material, energy, and information with the environment. Animal openings and opening and closing of flowers are examples of permeability in Nature. 7. Strong center: Each part of a system that is determined is a strong center; a focal point that attracts us. Roots in plants and heart and brain in animals are examples of strong center in Nature.
Conclusion: The criterion of "Wholeness" was selected as the main criterion and, with an average of 4/9, was ranked as the most important criterion of life. Since the criterion of "Order" forms the basis of all life criteria, was selected as the fundamental criterion and, with an average of 4/7, was ranked as the second important criterion. The criterion of "Evolution" (with an average of 4/4), "Compatibility" (with an average of 4), and "Optimization" (with an average of 4) were selected as the other main criteria of life and ranked as the third and fourth criterion in terms of importance. Since "Permeability" (with an average of 3/7) and "Strong center" (with an average of 3/4), contrary to the main criteria, are not essential to the creation of life, were selected by experts as complementary criteria, and ranked as the fifth and sixth criterion in terms of importance.


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Volume 52, Issue 2
July 2020
Pages 569-588
  • Receive Date: 22 September 2018
  • Revise Date: 09 December 2018
  • Accept Date: 09 December 2018
  • First Publish Date: 21 June 2020