Biomimicry: Nature’s Solution

By Kallie Musick

What is Biomimicry?

Biomimicry is the design and practice that mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges. It can be explored as a method to resolve problems by emulating species that have found solutions on their own, with low environmental impact. By connecting with the natural world, we can understand how to live and thrive sustainably.

“When we look at what is truly sustainable, the only real model that has worked over long periods of time is the natural world.” -Janine Benyus

Inspired Technologies

Leonardo da Vinci’s design for a flying machine with winds was based upon the structure of bat wings.

Image from: http://www.leonardo-da-vinci.net/design-for-a-flying-machine/

The streamlined design of Shinkansen 500 Series mimics the beak of a kingfisher to improve aerodynamics.

Kingfisher
Shinkansen 500 Series

The Eastgate Centre was inspired by the natural ventilation in termite mounds.

Eastgate Centre: Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastgate_Centre,_Harare

These are just a few examples of biomimicry. It is also used in self-healing materials, surfaces, adhesion, optics, agricultural systems, and many other technologies. Biomimicry can also be used to point towards a way to best structure a political movement, individual relationships, and communities.

Global Warming

The Earth has easily achieved regulating and absorbing carbon dioxide on a mass scale in order to prevent climate change. Biomimicry can help us look towards nature for the solution for climate change. Below are nine examples of biomimicry solutions that offer guidance to a carbon strategy.

  1. BioWave | Renewable energy technology that harvests wave action energy with kelp motion
  2. VAWT Wind Farm Design | Vertically oriented wind turbines arranged like schools of fish
  3. Swarm Logic Technology | Holistic energy demand management system that communicates like a swarm
  4. AirCarbon | High-performance plastic made with carbon captured from emissions
  5. Carbon Mix | Carbonate rocks made from captured CO2 emissions, mimicking how coral builds
  6. Multi-Strata Agroforestry | Forestry management strategy that mimics the forest
  7. Ecological Performance Standards | Ecosystem-based performance metrics for the built environment
  8. Perennial Crops | An approach to modern agriculture that mimics the prairie grassland
  9. Zelfo | Biobased material that leverages self organizing fibers and stores carbon at the same time

“The more our world functions like the natural world, the more likely we are to endure on this home that is ours, but not ours alone.” -Janine Benyus

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store