Eight Legged Architects: Spider Silk and Shelter

Nature At Work

Strength and Flexibility. Construction work done right at its ultimate level.

Spider webs serve different purposes. The most well known is that a spider web is created to attract its prey. Think big and you get big results. The larger the web the more promise at snagging insects. The spider web is comparable to steel, relative to weight. Efficient in gathering food using its glandular sticky silk for trapping or wrapping its prey yet, can be energetically consuming in the production of protein required to make silk.

Hydration. Droplets of glue form orb weaver spiders sticky webs. Self-made hydrogel aggregate of organic and non-organic compounds and water produce this glue. Humidity keeps the silk soft and tacky.

Sustainability. Spiders are able to ingest and digest their silk and recycle it.

Spider Web Production Inspiration.

Flexible, light, strong and water resistant: Medical devices, parts, supplies are created for products that need to be stretchy and/or sticky such as, artificial tendons, ligaments, implants, sutures, adhesives and bandages. Protein in spider aides in textile design and protective products such as body armor (bullet proof vests), athletic helmets and airbags due to its flexibility and its lightweight abilities.

Spiders are natural born contractors, structural master engineers and architects. Always changing, adapting to its environment and redesigning to produce the best functional design that serves its purpose. Architecture is about adapting to the environment, design and function. Mother nature offers her little workers in order to produce and sustain their habits and to capture their food. As architects we learn from nature and the spider web has allowed for us to study and incorporate its strength and beauty in the building industry in providing strong and sustainable shelter without compromising the environment. What we must remember is to be conscious and not to destroy or deplete our natural resources and maintain ecological balance. There is structure all around our natural habitat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s