Nature provides many examples of living cooperatively on Earth, which we can follow.
- Cooperation between organisms to form sustainable systems.
- One process reusing the waste generated by another process. (This inspires industrial ecology.)
- Manufacturing processes that occur within or on the surface of organisms, and so under ambient conditions, eg temperature and pressure.
- A great variety of mechanical, computing biochemical solutions to various problems confronting organisms as they perceive, move about in, and process materials found in their environment.
What is Biomimicry?
Biomimicry Explained - Janine Benyus, Biomimicry
Biomimicry is a new science that studies nature's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Studying a leaf to invent a better solar cell is an example. I think of it as "innovation inspired by nature."
Nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most important, what lasts here on Earth.
The conscious emulation of life's genius is a survival strategy for the human race, a path to a sustainable future. The more our world looks and functions like the natural world, the more likely we are to endure on this home that is ours, but not ours alone.
Biomimicry: Learning From Nature - The Nature of Things, CBC
The biomimics goal is to find benign and sustainable ways to meet our needs for food, materials, medicine, and energy. By beginning to learn from nature biomimics are finding out that, in all her activities, nature creates conditions conducive to life. In answer to their question, 'How shall we live?', the biomimics have realized one very important, and hopeful fact: we are surrounded by genius.
Biomimicry in Business
Biomimicry. David Oakley, Interface Sustainability
Biomimicry is a science that studies nature’s models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems. It provides us with a framework that we can use - a roadmap to sustainability.
[Biomimicry in business includes:]
- cooperation with suppliers, customers and even competitors.
- [waste reuse.]
In an ecosystem it is the “system” that works. The rainforest is a sustainable system. All waste, each particle, is consumed by another species. Cooperation appears to be more important than competition.
Biomimicry is about the interconnection of relationships, and so is design. Organizations are made up of people. Products are made up of materials, Design is dependent upon aesthetics and the interior is comprised of products.
Man and nature have come apart; the closer we can start to connect with nature and be a “system” the better off we will be.
One major application of biomimetics is the field of biomaterials, which involves mimicking or synthesizing natural materials, and applying this to practical design. There are many examples of materials in nature that exhibit unique useful properties. One of the major advantages of biomaterials is that they are normally biodegradeable. In addition, the extreme temperatures and hazardous chemicals often used in manmade construction are usually unnecessary with natural alternatives.
A second application of biomimetics is the field of robotics. Animal models are being used as the inspiration for many different types of robots. Researchers closely study the mechanics of various animals, and then apply these observations to robot design. The goal is to develop a new class of biologically-inspired robots with greater performance in unstructured environments. The cockroach leg is a prime candidate for biomimicry able to respond to changing environmental factors such as irregular terrain.
Centre for Biomimetics. University of Reading
How a locusts eardrum could lead to tiny microphones - University of Bristol 2006 - Understanding how insect ears can be so sensitive could lead to new microphones able to capture and analyse extremely faint sounds.