What is Biomimicry?

According to…

Biomimicry Institute and Ask Nature:

Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies.

Center for Biologically Inspired Design:

Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate)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.”

Whole Building Design Guide

The science and art of emulating Nature’s best biological ideas to solve human problems.

The etymological meaning of Biomimicry gives us the most basic definition of Biomimicry: to imitate life. It is also sometimes referred as biomimetics, and is often used to describe man-made processes and substances that imitate nature. According to the Biomimicry Institute, the goal is “to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul.” The reason why biomimicry has became more popular with time is because people are looking for more sustainable ways to do things and organisms know how to do it.

Even though we as humans are clever and thinking beings, without intending to, we have created massive sustainability problems for future generations. Some of these damages cannot be fixed, but if we look carefully, we can realize that the solution to some of these problems are just across our eyes, taking place nature.

If we look closer, animals, plants, and microbes are consummate engineers. Here is the proof: if you think about it, after 3.8 billion years failures are fossils and what surrounds us is the secret to survival. The more the human world functions like the natural world, the more likely we are to endure on this home that is ours, but not ours alone. Emulating life is a survival strategy for the human race (Janine Benyus)

Nature takes distinct approaches for coping with the environment. For example, a spider produces a waterproof silk that beats the pants off Kevlar for toughness and elasticity. When compared to steel it turns to be five times stronger! How does a spider do such a thing? The spider manufactures it in water, at room temperature, without needing any chemical or special process. And what is even more, it does not need to drill offshore for petroleum; it takes flies and crickets at one end and produces this miracle material at the other. When we realize it, a fiber industry can easily use this processing strategy, can’t it?

The truth is that all organisms  around us have managed to do even more than what we wish to do, without guzzling fossil fuels or polluting the planet.

“Biomimicry is the conscious emulation of nature’s genius.” ~Janine Benyus