In this brilliant exploration of natural and human technologies, Steven Vogel challenges the established view that design in nature is superior to human design, and shows that there are striking differences in the way each technology approaches the problems of life. While humans, for example, favour dry, flat surfaces, nature tends towards wet, curved ones. Heat engines, such as steam engines and electric motors, are unique to human technology, while muscle is nature's prime engine. The wheel, on which we are heavily reliant, is virtually unknown in nature. These differences, Vogel argues, are due to the evolutionary constraints that govern the mechanical world of nature, unlike the mechanical world humans have created. Fresh, original and informative, Steven Vogel's remarkable new book will challenge the way you view your surroundings.
'Perfect for the lay reader, the undergraduate and any scientist with a sense of humour... '
The New York Times Book Review