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Bio-inspired Materials and Dreams of Inspiration – Michael Friedman

February 7 @ 17:00 - 18:30


Materials are found at the very center of our life, situated in the complex zone between nature and society. In the recent decades, new discoveries in the natural sciences and in the materials sciences have enabled to develop new materials, so called ‘active materials’ and ‘Bio-inspired Materials’. These new materials are considered as entities that are able to ‘sense’ and respond to their environment. Furthermore they are not only associated with a technical claim, but also with the hope that they can do ‘more with less’, i.e. perform complex tasks, but use fewer resources and produce less waste to do so. Such materials are considered new ‘ideal’ materials, but they are materials that cannot be taken as such from nature as they have to be constructed in engineered in a sophisticated way. Nevertheless, the model for these manufactured active materials is often organic materials found in nature, such as the grown wood of trees and the bone formation in living organisms – and in this sense the scientists are ‘inspired’ by nature. The scientific analysis of these organic materials may lead to the fabrication of synthetic and bio-inspired active materials, and this in turn raises the question – which I will discuss in my talk – whether the dream of inspiration from nature is not a revision of a much older view, or rather metaphor, to read and finally write the ‘book’ of nature.

This event is part of our winter semester 2023/24 Lecture Series Lifelikeness.

To take part either online or in presence, please register with events@khk.rwth-aachen.de.


February 7
17:00 - 18:30
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Theaterstraße 75
Aachen, 52062 Germany
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