Since my college introduction to the concept of Biomimicry, popularized by scientist and author Janine Benyus in her 1997 book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, I have been intrigued by various ways humans can utilize the approximately 3.8 billion years (since the first bacteria) of research and development that nature has already done for us. Wikipedia sums biomimicry up as “the examination of nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems.” It is critical to note that biomimicry does not seek to replicate nature, but instead to learn its principles in order to create nature inspired solutions to human problems. As Biomimetic Architecture blog puts it “nature is the largest laboratory that ever existed and ever will.” It is truly fascinating the diversity of disciplines that biomimicry can offer inspiration - from micro-electronics to sociology [to architecture. Read on for more resources and inspiration.
Rather than go on about the endless implications this has for our future, the following is a list of resources to start exploring Biomimcry:
Ask Nature website - A open source searchable database of over 14,000 “solutions” to problems brought to us by our planets organisms.
Biomimicry Institute - The home page to the multiple arms of the Biomimicry Institute that offer education and professional advancement opportunities. The Institute will soon be offering online education in addition to their existing programs.
Biomimetic architecture blog - A blog dedicated to the exploration of biomimicry in Architecture.
HOK architecture firm’s announcement of an official alliance with Biomimicry Guild - HOK, one of the world’s largest architecture firms, created an official alliance with the Biomimicry Guild to promote the advancement of biomimetic solutions in the built environment.
Enjoy and be inspired!