Are We Now Trying To Compete With Nature?

Some say man's work cannot be on par with nature. But sometimes I feel "Is man trying to take the nature's job into his hands?"

This is because in some of the recent innovations in the last decade man has made sure he got rid of any obstacles if he had naturally and converted the surroundings to suit his needs. As a civil engineer it makes me think if this progress is for the good or bad?

Now consider the kansai airport in the Japan.  It was built in a place where none would have even dreamt of constructing anything some decades ago. It was built right on water. An artificial island was built some 3 kms away from the land. The challenges posed by nature like the clay soil strata in the sea bed, rough waves were all taken care of. This happened because the city had space constraints and needed to make an artificial island to house the airport.

an aerial view of the airport

The above example shows that man had created artificial islands to overcome some problem. But next is an example of a similar artificial island built for the bon vivant class.

The palm islands of dubai ( palm jebel ali, palm jumeirah, palm deira ) were all constructed for hotels like burj al arab and some residential blocks. This new year also saw the opening of the  luxurious five star Rixos Palm Jumeirah hotel in Dubai.

The Palm Jumeirah Islands
Rixos Palm Jumeirah hotel

And now here is another one construction... the difference here being that it has been a concept from nature!

The Nautilus House in Mexico where the house is built resembling a shell! Have a look at it and think if there are anymore limitations for engineers... This poses no harm. But I want to show you how we are now capable of imitating the Nature. 

So from these few examples itself it is evident that man is capable of delivering high standards of engineering, by replication of nature's work. Some is commendable and helps mankind in it's progress. Some just for the sake of it... for showing uniqueness and superiority. Man must know that he has certain limitations. The works like the first one is absolutely necessary and more such engineering which will help the society must be done. But the others?

This doesn't apply just to the civil engineering field. I have covered examples from my field to make you understand the idea. But man has in all fields started challenging nature. Vegetables are grown the artificial way to make profits these days. The obstacles that nature posed for us is no more an obstacle. 

If we come up with innovations to help us it is good. But we must try not to meddle with the nature too much too! What say? Just a thought... :) 


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Anonymous said...

Mere symbolism does not make up for substance.

Same is the difference between natures creations and man's mindless replication aka superior pieces of buildings.

While nature looks at things holistically, man looks selectively and in isolation, often misunderstanding and hence fiddling with nature beyond the point, as he fails to see where sensibility ends and absurdity begins.

Bikramjit said...

accomplishments made by engineering i guess .. I did not know about the airport in japan WOW..

you are right we shud not meddle with nature for when it turns against we have nothing to save us ..



@muinin: Yup there is difference between the both. We cannot completely replicate nature too. We should know where we should end our thirst for more unnecessary 'achievements'.

@Bikram: Yeah it is a masterpiece! :) :) Engineering at its best! Now that is progress.

The amount of load that it will be carrying and the high safety in design makes it a wonder according to me. :)

Hello Engineers said...

Well these are all true marvels of civil engineering. But anything which goes against nature and disturbs natural phenomena, will be destructive in future. I have really liked the blogs and articles written by you.


Thanks a lot Hello Engineers :) :) I have been away for quite sometime now. will resume writing more such posts soon :)

Elevator India said...

Great examples of civil engineering`s an outstanding achievement

ZAKERIYA said...

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you can tell subject and i will upload that book.

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