Title: Researching biomimicry by adapting leaf features of Victoria Amazonica(Water Lily) in designing portable evacuation shelter base for the use of evacuation when flood occurs.

Name: Tan Chiew Nee



The main issue tackled in this project is about proposing a solution to the flood victims for better evacuation method and system when flood occurs. Background studies has covered the general information about flood events happened in Malaysia and the damages caused by the natural disaster and the frequent issues faced by these flood victims. Firstly, it is to understand the context and strategies needed for the proposal to select and study the right plant/animal for the same purposes.

Research was done on water lily plant, Victoria Amazonica with its giant leafs elected for the investigation as it adapted a similar context and function which is to float on the water surface and to withstand the large leaf load. The leaf structure is explored and adapted in to designing the base of the evacuation shelter in order for it to float more steadily and with stand load more evenly.

Several prototypes were done by incorporating the ratio and formula provided by other researchers in designing the most effective one that can cater fully to the function proposed which is to withstand load of users and help them with self-evacuation. The portable mechanism was also done based on the branching pattern and manner originated from the growth of the leaf structure.

Based on the results of the experiment, analysis and outcome were given from the observation and it can conclude that the leaf structure is proven to work more effectively in terms of keeping the structure balance while floating on water surface as the structure can help to distribute the load more evenly as compared to a normal flat surface. In conclusion, it is important to not imitate directly the nature but to make use of the strength and strategy that can make a design performs better.

Biological Mimicry System

  • Organism: Leaf of water lily plant

  • Challenge: To float above water all the time

  • Strategy: The back of the leaf is strengthen with girder-like ribs that keep the leaf rigid and steadily floating on the water. The surface of the leaf is coated with a wax-like layer to keep it dry at all time, (Asknature, 2018).

  • Function: 1)     Group: To remain on the water surface to capture maximum sunlight for photosynthesis; survival skill. 2) Sub-group: The strong ribs at the back of the leaf to distribute and withstand the leaf weight evenly and keep it rigid and floating steadily on the water surface.

Victoria Amazonica

  • Appears on water surface as a large bud, studded with spine then burst open and spread.

  • Leaf is flat with growing rims at the edge and the rim helps to shoulder aside other things surrounding it.

  • Leaf grows and expands at the rate of ½ m2 per day until 2-3m (Asknature, 2018).

  • The leaf is strong and stiff due to girder-like ribs structure beneath it (Festeryga & Kim, 2008).