The now ubiquitous hook-and-loop system used in Velcro was modeled on the tiny barbs found on burrs, when Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral noticed their uncanny ability to stick to his clothes and his dog’s fur during a hike.
Next up, Lotusan paint—inspired by the slick leaves of the lotus plant, and their natural capacity to wash away dirt particles after each rainfall. Conventional paints accumulate dirt and mold over the course of time, which can dull bright colors and leave residual stains. Lotusan’s exterior coating repels these unsightly elements, keeping the treated surface clean and unblemished. The smooth matte surface is UV stable, and ideal for a variety of material applications (concrete, stucco, EIFS, and fiber cement-board substrates).
Not everyone can have an easy-to-care-for candy shell to protect their house, however: It can’t be used on wood or metal surfaces.
A former editor at Dwell, Amara recently left the glamorous life of a magazine staffer to pursue her freelance writing dream. She has written for Sunset, Wallpaper*, the Architect’s Newspaper, VIA, and Apartment Therapy.