"Architets have long taken inspiration from nature. In ancient Egypt columns were modelled on palm trees and lotus plants, and building designers have borrowed the shapes and proportions of natural forms ever since as they strived to achieve aesthetic perfection. Some architects now believe that such biomimicry has more to offer than simply making buildings look good. They are copying functional systems found in nature to provide cooling, generate energy and even to desalinate water. And they insist that doing these things using biomimetic designs is not just a gimmick, but makes financial sense."