Nature Gadgets Umair Zia Nature-Gadgets-Umair-Zia NatureGadgets UmairZia

One-line Brief
Bottle (almost) disappears with the consumption of the fluid that it contains.
Inspiration from Nature
Honeypot Ant (Myrmecocystus Mexicanus) can store honey in its stretchable abdomen several times more than the size of the abdomen.

Problem Statement
A fluid container becomes a liability as soon as the fluid it contains gets consumed. This liability has a weight, it occupies space and it adds to the cost of the fluid itself. For example, round bottles and soda cans waste enormous space in their cartons. A liquid container needs to be designed which wastes space neither inside a carton nor after consumption.

Nature Review
Several animals can store food inside their bodies for later use but none of them does it more efficiently than a honeypot ant (Myrmecocystus Mexicanus) in terms of the weight-volume ratio of its container. This tiny giant has the ability to buff itself up with honey, then hang itself upside down like a huge jar. A fluid container could also be reimagined using this strategy.

Technology Review
Motion Regitko of MoStudio and Frei Otto experimented with forms of inflatable and tensile function. Pneumocell by Thomas Herzig and famous Eden Project (Grimshaw and partners) also sheds light on the subject. There are several bottles in the market that tend to break away from conventional vessels, such as Bubi, BlueFit, and Infuriation. Kristof Retezar’s self-filling bottle can extract water from moisture in the atmosphere. The design intention of this gadget is to reduce the size of the container when it is not in use.

Nature Gadgets by Nature Tutor Umair Zia
Nature Gadget
A tiny telescopic straw (17) is designed which can extend at both ends (5, 20). It is enwrapped tightly in a stretchable film (7) which has controllable stiffness factor (23, 24, 25) against given volume. The film takes the form of a bottle when fully filled with liquid and its stiffness is controlled at three different compartments/levels (10, 15, 19). As a result, the bottle is never half full or empty. As the fluid gets consumed, the film draws itself back into the solid straw (9, 11).

Citation Montage
The following are some useful resources from the design process of this nature gadget.
Row1Column1: A closeup of Honeypot Ant
Row1Column2: Honeypot Ant (Myrmecocystus) Storage Trunk
Row1Column3: Myrmecocystus Nest
Row1Column4: Inflatable structure by Marion Regitko, MoStudio
Row2Column1: Frei Otto’s Experimentation in Architecture
Row2Column2: Pneumocell by Thomas Herzig
Row2Column3: Eden Project by Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners
Row2Column4: Cuschicle by Michael Webb (David Green Inside)
Row3Column1: A Product by Event Display
Row3Column2: Removalon-1 Expandable Bottle
Row3Column3: Bubi Bottle
Row3Column4: Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow
Row4Column1: BlueFit Prototype of Smart Water Bottle
Row4Column2: Infruition Sports Water Bottle
Row4Column3: OKO Filters
Row4Column4: Self-filing Bottle by Kristof Retezar

Created by Umair Zia