Nature designs – People copy. Take a look at how architects are inspired by the world around them when looking for unique concepts to solve problems.
Title: Wild Buildings and Bridges: Architecture Inspired by Nature
Author: Etta Kaner
Illustrator: Carl Wiens
ISBN: 9781771387811 Language: English
Themes: architecture, nature
What’s it about?
This is a book that looks at how nature has informed certain designs. For instance, how technology may mimic the nature flow of a river to keep man-made water reserves clean, or how a beetle that can create its own water inspired the design of a greenhouse.
The layout is fantastic in this book with each page having a balance of text, illustrations, and where relevant, photographs. It is a very easy book to follow and I love that it includes DIY experiements to explore some of the basic design concepts.
Nothing here – unless I can ask for a second volume?
Finding good books for STEM/STEAM lessons is difficult, finding great books is next to impossible especially once you look for books targeting upper primary grades (5-7) and junior high school (8-9). Based on that this book is really a must have on the teacher’s shelf and in the classroom.
Firstly, the layout. I mentioned it a bit above but the layout is fantastic. I love that it combines illustrations of the creature or natural concept and then alongside or nearby shows how architects used that concept to inform a specific design as shown in a photograph. That is such an important element in assisting children (and adults) in making Text-to-World connections.
“…we can read all we like but it sticks in our brains much more if we do as well.”
The little experiements are great for children to practise a concept to see exactly the why and the how behind the thinking – because let’s face it, we can read all we like but it sticks in our brains much more if we do as well. The instructions are provided with written text and accompanying illustrations making them easy to follow and replicate. My kids particularly liked doing the experiment of A Sweet Deal (page 25) to measure the perimeters with string and lining them up shortest to biggest (my kids are on the younger side so I modified it to suit) and also making tessellating patterns with the three provided (we used some fantastic wooden pattern blocks for this from the Toy Playhouse).
Overall, this is a great cross-curricular resource to have as a teacher resource to help inform your planning but also as a student resource. If you are super keen to see a preview of the book before it’s released, head over to the Kids Can Press website and click the “Google Preview” button under the book cover.