There are things to observe all around us and in some many different forms. They can lead us to better or different designs and help us understand how things work. You generally don’t have to hunt these things out because they are all around us. You just have to watch and learn from what you see.
Take a look at this palm tree base. Over the years nature came up with a plan to make sure that it was firmly attached to the ground yet flexible enough to withstand incredible winds.
The fronds of the palm are also adapted to sway and take a great deal of wind but rarely to the point of causing the tree to up root. They sway and dissipate the force of the wind vs gathering it like a sail .
Even objects such as below can take a great deal of wind and as a fact this buoy has sat exactly where it is through two hurricanes with winds over 120mph and come out fine.
The reason is fairly simple. It has a flexibility to give and take with the wind.
Now why does a certain roof last better than an other?
Metal roofs aren’t from nature and they aren’t flexible so why do they do better in high wind situations?
They have no flexibility. They are rigidly mounted to the roof and therefor resist the force of the wind better than shingles which have so many edges to catch the wind. The house itself is wood and like the palms it constantly flexes and sways in high winds.
The point is that by watching and learning from a particular environment, homes can be built to withstand most of the forces of nature. I say most because sometimes nature can throw a mean fast ball your way with a tornado or tsunami and there’s not much you can do but run and duck!