What is Biomimicry?
The process of copying nature’s design, called Biomimicry, offers a new way of looking at the world we live in and our place in it.
Nature’s sublime laws and wholesomeness breathe pure and simple genius, which, when properly understood and applied, can provide solutions for most of the environmental, sociological, and technological challenges we face today. The process of copying nature’s design, called Biomimicry, offers a new way of looking at the world we live in and our place in it — a way based on empathy, interconnectedness, all-permeating interdependence, and cooperation.
Learning from and mimicking the strategies used by species alive today can help us with creating products, processes, and policies to help us rehabilitate and heal this planet and ourselves in the process. Learning from nature’s wisdom and gaining new insights into her mysterious workings will help us reorganize our activities to work in harmony with that natural law.
Biomimicry brings relief to the planet.
Humanity’s misguided activity has led to great instability on our planet, the only home we have, and can be seen in all our institutions. Impotent to deal with an alarming number of environmental, climate, health, and social crises, many are slowly losing hope faced with the magnitude of the problem. We have forgotten that our Earth is a living, pulsating being that reacts to the way we treat it.
The precarious situation we find ourselves in today results from perceiving our world as an action rather than reaction. People of past times were generally more in tune with the cycles, pulses and subtle workings of nature and could create organic societies intimately connected to the natural world. The rational, materialistic approach of sophisticated science put an end to that connectedness and appreciation of nature’s natural patterns.
In a hurry to understand and describe outer physical effects observable by senses, the world of inner causes of natural phenomena became veiled from us. Biomimicry gives us hope that by observing and learning from the teacher Nature, we can again find the solutions for our greatest challenges.
Biomimicry helps us design generously.
We are capable of creating conditions conducive to life, just like nature does.
From a purely economic standpoint, humanity’s present activities are untenable in the long term unless there is an abundance of clear, clean water, air, and thriving vegetation. The advances of economic paradigm, which have expanded global communication and interconnectedness, have also led to our rising fascination and belief in the power of technology. The intensive pursuit of ‘cutting-edge’ technology and science made us oblivious to natural energies and processes — so much so that even the everyday language we use never developed expressions for natural things. These are things that are intuited, sensed, or otherwise experienced by those more naturally attuned. Terms such as circularity, sustainability, and regenerative design give comfort that we humans may become a force for restoring air, water, and soil instead of degrading it.
We are capable of creating conditions conducive to life, just like nature does. She uses structure to change function and passive forms of energy to sustain life, whereas we use brute force like mining ancient carbon and a multitude of harmful chemicals that damage life. As we continue to exploit the sunken residues of former life (coal, oil, etc.), it would be wise to remember that, in nature, one extreme always triggers off the other.
Biomimicry gets us to sustainable solutions, faster.
Innovators of today in increasing numbers look closely at the R&D processes of nature.
It has been said that nature’s most effective protection is the frailty of humanity, its work, and its activities. The consequences of contravening every principle of nature mean that, sooner or later, we will bring about our own demise, with all we carefully built up collapsing upon itself.
Everything is governed by one law: a human being is a microcosmos, and laws prevailing in the cosmos also operate in the minutest space of the human being. Innovators of today in increasing numbers look closely at the R&D processes of nature, trying to emulate them to create unique products that are efficient and effective for sustaining life. Contemporary agricultural, architectural, technological, and ecological designs are increasingly becoming adapted and inspired by patterns we find in nature.
Developments in Biomimicry
Below is a collection of observations on developments in Biomimicry, starting from pioneers in the field of holistic observation of nature through modern-day scientists pushing frontiers and leading the way into the modern-day applications.
Victor Schauberger was an Austrian forester who first proposed a radical new way of thinking of new concepts in energy production in harmony with nature. He first formulated the C&C principle: Comprehend then Copy Nature. His nature-inspired inventions included spiral pipes for carrying water with reduced friction, power generation from water and air using the principles of contraction and inward vortexing, and devices for refining drinking water.
Scientific breakthroughs aren’t always about fabricating new solutions; sometimes, they’re about the creative use of solutions already found in nature. One of the originators of the field of Green Chemistry, Dr. John Warner, has found that grey hairs can restore themselves to their natural color, and all it takes is a little beetle chemistry. Featuring Dr. John Warner, President and Chief Technology Officer of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry.
Biomimicry Institute Founder Janine Benyus is one of the modern-day science authors who popularized the term Biomimicry in recent times.
Nature has the ability to self-organize and self-repair. These powerful bio-forces renew the Earth and break the cycle of human destruction. So by incorporating ecological design in technology, we can manufacture a more sustainable future. Featuring Dr. John Todd, Founder of John Todd Ecological Design and a leading figure in the field of Ecological Design.
Why We Love Biomimicry
Nature’s designs are unique. Connection with nature is our birthright. Take a look at this short video of people reflecting on Biomimicry and what it means to them.