What is biomimicry? It is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. 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 core idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers.
Here are a few examples of biomimicry:
- We generally think of termites as destroying buildings, not helping design them. But the Eastgate Building, an office complex in Harare, Zimbabwe, has an air conditioning system modeled on the self-cooling mounds of termites that maintain the temperature inside their nest to within one degree, day and night (while the temperatures outside swing from 42 °C to 3 °C).
- Learning from prairies how to grow food in resilient ways. Take a look at any natural ecosystem, such as a prairie, and you will see a remarkable system of food production: productive, resilient, self-enriching, and ultimately sustainable.
- Blood vessels in the jackrabbit’s long ears widen and constrict to quickly regulate internal temperature. Architects and engineers can use a similar strategy to design more energy-efficient buildings.
There’s lots more. Visit Great Lakes Biomimicry.