Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies.
Nature provides the best examples of working processes yet we often engage in our world mindlessly or use brute force methods to problem-solving and innovating. How can we harness and learn from the world around us? Last week, I blogged about the Power of a Question. The question I would ask is, “Has nature found a solution to this problem?” This question opens up a world of action research, and an opportunity to look at the environment in a new way.
Below are some great examples of biomimicry in action. Read more examples here.
VELCRO: George de Mestral invented Velcro after his dog returned covered in burdock burrs. He looked at them under the microscope and noticed hook-like structures, and after years of experimenting, he patented velcro in 1955.
SUPER ADHESIVE: Geckos scale walls and even walk upside down on surfaces using millions of microscopic hairs on their toes. Scientists used this methodology to create an adhesive where an index-card-size strip can hold up to 700 pounds holding promise as a new medical adhesive to replace sutures and staples.
VACCINES – NO REFRIGERATION REQUIRED: Tardigrades, relatives of the arthropod take up to 120 years to dry out after dying. A process called anhydrobiosis protects them. Biomatrica, through an adaptation of anhydrobiosis, realized how to apply this knowledge to live vaccines, preventing the need for refrigeration for up to six months.
- Ask Nature
- Join in the Biomimicry Design Challenge
Look through the lens of curiosity
Hennighausen, Amelia, and Eric Roston. “14 Smart Inventions Inspired by Nature: Biomimicry.” Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 23 Feb. 2015. Web. 08 Apr. 2017.
“What Is Biomimicry? – Biomimicry Institute.” Biomimicry Institute. Web. 08 Apr. 2017.