If your company is attempting to overcome a technological challenge, chances are that somewhere in the natural world an organism or organisms have spent millennia perfecting a solution to your problem.
If your design process does not include people with knowledge of the natural world you may be continually attempting to “reinvent the wheel”, wasting time and money. Today there are plenty of consulting firms available to help designers and engineers find solutions to difficult problems, but perhaps the biggest hurdle is resistance to opening up to the possibilie solutions that biologists can provide. A “silo mentality” pervades some organizations.
Biologists Have Earned Their Place At The Industrial Design Table
The world’s leading biomimicry expert, Jeanine Benyus, notes that “novel solutions via nature-inspired design have evolved over 3.8 billion years.” Biomimicry is a growing trend as major corporations turn to biomimicry experts and consultants to help develop products that are based on structures and designs found in nature.
Being Inspired By “Champion Adapters” In The Natural World
While industry is getting on board with biomimicry, K-12 education across the US is beginning to pick up steam in using the concept to introduce children and teenagers to science and engineering concepts. An organization called Biomimicry 3.8 is leading the charge and in higher education, there is now a PhD track in biomimicry at the University of Akron, Ohio, USA..
The following TED video by Jeanine Benyus introduces 12 sustainable design ideas from nature.
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References and related content:
- Examples of Biomimicry – HowStuffWorks
- Janine Benyus: Biomimicry in action | Talk Video | TED.com
- Great Lakes Biomimicry – Home