Design in Nature

Learning from Trees

  • Claus Mattheck

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XIV
  2. Claus Mattheck
    Pages 1-2
  3. Claus Mattheck
    Pages 3-23
  4. Claus Mattheck
    Pages 25-27
  5. Claus Mattheck
    Pages 141-162
  6. Claus Mattheck
    Pages 163-164
  7. Claus Mattheck
    Pages 167-182
  8. Claus Mattheck
    Pages 183-184
  9. Claus Mattheck
    Pages 191-198
  10. Claus Mattheck
    Pages 199-208
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 271-276

About this book


The chicken bone which you nibbled and threw away yesterday was a high-tech product! In fact it was a superlative light-weight design functionally adapted to the mechanical requirements. No engineer in the world has as yet been able to copy this structural member, which is excellently optimized in its external shape and its internal architecture as regards minimum weight and maximum strength.
The tree trunk on which you recently carved your initials has also over the course of its life, steadily improved its internal and external structure and adapted itself optimally to new loads. In the course of its biomechanical self-optimization, it will heal the notch you cut as speedily as possible, in order to repair even the smallest weak point, which might otherwise cost it its life in the next storm.

This book is dedicated to the understanding of this biomechanical optimization of shape. And not only that: With the knowledge of these perfect processes of self-optimization in nature, techniques for the improvement of mechanical structural members could be developed. Industry already uses them. Nature shows us the way to eco-design, to machines in accordance with nature's laws governing structures and shapes.

CLAUS MATTHECK: Born in Dresden, Germany in 1947. Study of physics in Dresden, PhD in theoretical physics in 1973. Habilitation in the field of damage control in 1985. Lectures on biomechanics at the University of Karlsruhe. Head of the Department of Biomechanics of the Research Centre in Karlsruhe, where the results described in this book were obtained. Several awards in science and literature.


Baum Biomechanik Dorn Gestaltoptimierung Kralle Natur biomechanics bone claw design nature shape optimization thorn tree

Authors and affiliations

  • Claus Mattheck
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Material Research IIResearch Center KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-62937-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-58747-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site