Biomimicry isn’t itself a product but a process, drawing on natural organisms and processes in order to spark innovation. Organizations and even cities can look to ecosystems for inspiration
Through most of the industrial age, we have been getting by our own wits and inventions for new product designs. But now few savvy manufacturers are beginning to look back at nature’s laboratory to find solutions to some of our toughest design problems.
The principle is simple: everything that exists today in nature is the result of billions of years of evolution. It has been optimized by survival, tested against the elements and has proven itself to be the optimal design. It is all one giant R&D lab 3.8 billion years in the making.
Taping into those resources opens up a rich world of inspiration for designers and manufacturers.
Taking a biomimicry approach takes the focus way from purely man-made engineering efforts wrought through the industrial revolution and back to the battle-tested and implicitly sustainable properties already thriving in the world around us.
“Biomimicry is about going back to our roots”. “When we have problem to solve, we have to ask ourselves, ‘what would nature do?’ ”
Through a process of reconnecting with nature and researching living organisms, the design teams, together with biologists, are looking at how natural systems operate and are “asking nature” as a means to inform their building design. How do living organisms capture, store and process water, sunlight and waste? How does nature cool, shade and recycle nutrients? In addition to some of the more basic building functions, other designers are looking at 3D printing and nanotechnology as means to advance the building material design and construction. The observations of lessons in nature are having profound impact and are challenging the way things have been done since the industrial revolution.
Biomimicry has just recently started to be perceived as a medium that should eventually lead to revolutionary changes in the economy. The transposition of biomimicry into business and commercial use could transform large portion of various industries in the coming years and could ultimately impact all segments of the economy. Industries that could be particularly affected include utilities, transportation equipment, chemical manufacturing storage and waste management, architecture and engineering.
By designing and producing materials, architecture, and systems that are based on biological materials and processes, we work to strike a balance with nature-to live in harmony with Mother Earth and not to continue producing global problems. Biomimicry is propelling us toward a new way of living –to sustainable assets, methods, and policies.