What is Biomimicry?

Biomimicry is the concept of looking at nature, its systems and processes as models for solving human problems in a sustainable way. Life today on Earth can be seen as having excelled in survival. Animals, plants and microbes know what works and they know how to sustain life in our ever changing environment.

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”

Scientists and engineers are applying nature’s designs for a multitude of uses for example, harnessing energy like a leaf, ventilation for buildings designed on termite mounds and self cleaning paints based on the lotus leaf. AquaBio is using biomimicry by utilizing the ability of microbes to breakdown contaminants in water and soil to bring back a natural balance to the ecosystem.

Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a design discipline that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf.  The core idea is that Nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with: energy, food production, climate control, non-toxic chemistry, transportation, packaging, and a whole lot more.

Janine Benyus: 12 Sustainable Design Ideas From Nature

Note: If you don’t have access to YouTube, watch the video here.

Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most importantly, what lasts here on Earth. Instead of harvesting organisms, or domesticating them to accomplish a function for us, biomimicry differs from other “bio-approaches” by consulting organisms and ecosystems and applying the underlying design principles to our innovations. This approach introduces an entirely new realm for entrepreneurship that can contribute not only innovative designs and solutions to our problems but also to awakening people to the importance of conserving the biodiversity on Earth that has so much yet to teach us.