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called Biomimicry) is a relatively new area of science
and engineering. It is cross-disciplinary.
Biomimetics is comprised of two elements:
- The study nature's
models, systems, processes and elements
- Designing human
products and processes that imitate or mimic nature,
to solve human problems sustainably.
The Dictionary of Sustainable Management
defines biomimicry as “Applying lessons learned
from the study of natural methods and systems to the
design of technology”.
additional information regarding Biomimetics/Biomimicry,
contact Sustainability Team member:
Benyus’ Nine Principles of Biomimicry:
Nature runs on sunlight
2. Nature uses only the energy it needs
3. Nature fits form to function
4. Nature recycles everything
5. Nature rewards cooperation
6. Nature banks on diversity
7. Nature demands local expertise
8. Nature curbs excesses from within
9. Nature taps the power of limits
Biomimetics along with Industrial Ecology
and Life Cycle Analysis, may be the core of the re-design of
our production infrastructure.
Center for Biomimetrics
The Center has definitions, examples,
publications and projects related to designing from nature.
National Center for Design of Biomimetic
The Center has focused on the construct that
we call the functional protocell or, more frequently, just
protocell. Like a biological cell, it is surrounded by a
membrane that contains lipids and proteins. Like a
biological cell, it contains a solution inside comprised of
water and solutes, which may be ions or molecules. By
varying the contents of the protocell interior, and by
varying the chemical composition of the surface membrane,
the protocell may acquire a great variety of properties,
just as biological cells have various properties based on
the same kind of variation.
The Swedish Center for Biomimetic Fiber
Swedish Center for Biomimetic Fiber Engineering (Biomime™)
is a multidisciplinary Center of Excellence with cutting
edge expertise at every level of the formation, modification
and industrial utilization of wood, fibers and their
constituent polymers. Our Mission is the understanding of
the structure, self-assembly, and properties of complex
plant cell walls in order to use the cell wall as a
bioinspired model for advanced materials design. Mimicry of
the natural self-assembly of cell wall macromolecules has a
high potential to contribute to the future development of
Biomimetics – Learning From Nature
This is an 8-page
PDF by Thomas Hesselberg of the University of Bath’s
Mechanical Engineering Department.
This site offers a
TED Talk lecture with Jeffrey West on biomimicry. It also
provides examples of biomimicry used in design.
Biomimetics: Technology Imitates Nature
At this web site, download the entire book or
Introduction from the World Changing site
Biomimetics: Design by Nature
What has fins
like a whale, skin like a lizard, and eyes like a moth? The
future of engineering. Tom Mueller. National Geographic Magazine, April 2007.
"Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature"
Janine M. Benyus, 1997.
(Available for purchase)
is primarily a private sector endeavor, and often involves
research labs that are private, and sometimes, public.
Janine M. Benyus
The guild helps innovators design sustainable products
and processes that create conditions conducive to all
A not-for-profit organization whose mission is to
nurture and grow a global community of people who are
learning from, emulating, and conserving life's genius
to create a healthier, more sustainable planet.
Biomimicry Institute Introduction
Explanation of biomimicry
Twelve Sustainable Design Ideas From Nature
A 24 minute TED video
presentation in Monterey, California (February 2005) by
Janine Benyus entitled “Bimimicry: Innovation Inspired
Bioinspiration & Biomimetics:
A professional journal.
Termite Mounds Inspire Design of Zimbabwe Office Complex
African office complex
inspired by termite engineering.
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