biomimicry: nature inspired technology in nature, there is absolutely no waste. everything either is
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Biomimicry: Nature Inspired
14 May 2019
Executive summary 03
Introduction to Biomimicry 05
History of Biomimicry 08
Levels of Biomimicry 09
The need for Biomimicry 09
Biomimicry Innovations 13
Emerging trends in the application of Biomimicry 16
Biologists at Design Table 17
Databases of Biomimicry 18
Critique of Tools 18
Case Studies of Biomimicry 20
Biomimicry and Sustainability 23
CONTENT Page 02
In nature, there is absolutely no waste. Everything either is a nutrient or an ingredient. The
imitation of these knowledgeable earthly designs and processes can help people save
energy-saving technologies, reject toxins, reuse any material and work as a system to
create life-friendly conditions.
We live in a period of exponential change and transformation in the social and
technological field. The rate of digitalization and connectivity is rapidly increasing. This
increasing complexity and the global impact of our actions are some of the greatest
challenges we face today. Therefore, more than ever, new approaches and organization
forms are urgently needed, as linear thinking patterns and hierarchies are increasingly
inappropriate to tackle complex questions.
The practice of biomimicry always starts with the vital process of understanding how would
nature act in certain situations and this often leads to new ideas that are evolving to fit the
context, tested for many years to be proven safe for the current generation and the ones
to come. Biomimicry is divided into three levels that aid us in the design of an innovation
that supports a circular economy and creates conditions conducive to life.
Biomimicry addresses all types of sustainability issues and revolutionizes the economy in
all sectors. It analyzes and abstracts functional principles of nature and applies them to
economic and socio-cultural matters. The principle behind biomimicry is the development
of organisms and biological systems over a period of 3.8 billion years, with brilliant
mechanisms of adjustment superior to our inventions and solutions. Whether architecture,
mobility, energy generation, packaging or organizational structures poses problems, then
nature can provide many answers. In particular, biomimicry utilizes the full range of
biological systems–from microscopic cells to complex behaviors of whole ecosystems–as
models and design criteria that provide new and unexpected solutions. Essentially,
biomimicry consolidates thousands of years of development into one creative and open-
ended process of innovation.
This report is breaking down the practice of biomimicry and its history, why is it needed
and how it differs from other bio-approaches. We’re understanding how Russia has been
evolving their technology and using nature as the main inspiration behind their designs
and how it is going to be leading their industries in the future. Lastly, how through
biomimicry, designers can lead the development of technologies with net zero or net
positive environmental consequences.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Page 03
Introduction to Biomimicry
Nature has long been a source of inspiration for designers and engineers in their quest to solve many of humanity’s problems, and in the industrial world nature is increasingly seen as a model and a reference point. “Biomimicry” is the name given to nature inspired innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by
emulating nature's time-tested patterns and strategies, according to the Biomimicry Institute.2 The core idea is that over the course of thousands of years of evolution, nature has already perfected solutions to many of the problems we are grappling with.3 Biomimicry is an emerging area of study that is seeing rising demand for theoretical and practical training and there has been a fivefold increase in biomimicry patents and research grants since 2000. A report by the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute suggests that biomimicry could account for US$ 425 billion of gross national product (GNP) and $1.6 trillion of global output by 2030. Biomimicry holds tremendous potential at this critical point in human history to inspire eco-friendly designs in technology.
Definition of Biomimicry
The word “biomimicry” means the imitation of life and it comes from a combination of the Greek words “bios” which means life and “mimikos” meaning imitation. In 1962, the term biomimicry was first used as a generic term that referred to cybernetics as well as bionics. Bionics is defined as ‘‘an attempt to understand sufficiently well the tricks that nature actually uses to solve her problems’’ and it is closer to the meaning of “biomimicry’’ as it has been used by scientists since the 1980s. In fact, the term bionics was used earlier to cover the same area of today's term biomimicry. Through Janine Benyus’s book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, biomimicry became the preferred name.
Biomimetics is a multidisciplinary field that involves design and manufacturing of various commercial materials and apparatuses based on the biological function and structure of different objects and organisms found in nature.
Biomimicry refers to studying nature’s most successful developments and then imitating these designs and processes to solve human problems. It can be thought of as “innovation inspired by nature” – Janine Benyus.6
Professor Robert J Full from the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, explains why biomimicry often involves direct copying of nature. “Evolution isn't a perfecting principle; it works on the principle of “just good enough”. If you really want to design something for a task, you have to look at the diversity of organisms out there and then get inspired by principles.”
INTRODUCTION Page 05
https://biomimicry.org/what-is-biomimicry/ https://www.questia.com/magazine/1P3-3159188691/teaching-stem-inquiry-througn-biomimicry-and-photography http://www.scq.ubc.ca/biomimicrybimimetics-general-principles-and-practical-examples/
Biomimicry can be defined as innovation through emulation of biological forms, processes, patterns, and systems.7 The idea is that natural selection promotes highly adapted and differentiated survival strategies to meet technical challenges.
In engineering, biomimicry involves the study of biological systems in order to get information from nature to solve engineering problems or to be used for applications in engineering. Biomimicry as a concept is defined by industry leader Sue L. T. McGregor as “the juncture where ecology meets agriculture, medicine, manufacturing materials science, energy, computing and commerce”9
INTRODUCTION Page 06
History of Biomimicry
History of Biomimicry People have always been inspired by nature to solve everyday problems. The study of birds to allow human flight is an early example of biomimicry. The Wright Brothers, who in 1903 managed to fly the first aircraft, drew inspiration from their observations of pigeons.13
The term biomimetics was chosen by Otto Schmitt, an American Academic and Inventor, to describe the transfer of biological ideas to technology. The term biomimetics entered the Websters dictionary in 1974 and is defined as "the study of the formation, structure, or function of biologically produced substances and materials (such as enzymes or silk) and biological mechanisms and processes (such as protein synthesis or photosynthesis) especially for the purpose of synthesizing similar products by artificial mechanisms which mimic natural ones".14
The term bionics, in 1960, was coined by the psychiatrist and engineer Jack Steele15 as "a science concerned with the application of data about the functioning of biological systems to the solution of engineering problems".
The term began to take on a different meaning following the 1974 TV series The Six Million Dollar Man and its spin offs, becoming associated with 'the use of electronically-operated artificial body parts' and 'having ordinary human powers increased by the aid of such devices.16 Because the term bionic took on the implication of super natural strength, the scientific community in English speaking countries shied away from using it in subsequent years.
The term biomimicry first appeared in 198217 and was popularised in the 1997 book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, by scientist and writer Janine Benyus who defines the word as "new science that studies nature's models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems". Benyus suggests looking to Nature as a "Model, Measure, and Mentor" and emphasizes sustainability as an objective of biomimicry.
For example, researchers studied the termite's ability to maintain a virtually constant temperature and humidity in their mounds in Africa, regardless of outside temp