What is Biomimicry?
A definition of Biomimicry
Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a new discipline, based on an ancient practice, aiming at investigating Nature to discover its best ideas and translate them into applicable design principles to solve human challenges.
We can think of it as "innovation inspired by Nature" and refer to Leonardo da Vinci as an example of renowned Biomimicry practitioner.
Why to look at Nature
During the last 3.8 billion years of evolution, Nature had to face challenges similar to the ones we are struggling with; such as: water scarcity, responding to disturbances and collecting energy and nutrients.
Through a continuous process of trail and errors, Nature evolved and thrived adapting to changing conditions, using locally available renewable resources and doing it in an efficient and resilient way. Nature goes beyond the concept of sustainability, it creates conditions conducive to Life.
Difference from other bio-approaches
Instead of harvesting organisms, or domesticating them to accomplish a function for us, Biomimicry differs from other "bio-approaches" by consulting organisms and ecosystems (looking at natural forms, processes and systems) and applying the underlying design principles to our innovations.
Why to consider Biomimicry
This approach introduces a new realm for entrepreneurship that can contribute not only to generate innovative designs and solutions to our problems but also to awake people to the importance of conserving the biodiversity on Earth that has so much yet to teach us.
Biomimicry Thinking approach
A tool for solving problems
Planet promotes the Biomimicry Thinking approach developed by the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute as a tool for solving problems. While akin to a methodology, the Biomimicry Thinking is a framework that is intended to help people practice while designing anything to solve problems. It provides context to where, how, what, and why biomimicry fits into the process of any discipline or any scale of design.
There are four areas in which Biomimicry can provide the greatest value to the design process (independent of the discipline in which it is integrated): scoping, discovering, creating, and evaluating.
Following the specific steps within each phase helps ensure the successful integration of life’s strategies into human designs.
Biologists at the design table
To solve problems through a Biomimicry Thinking approach means, in operative terms, to engage in a multi-disciplinary programme of R&D where biologists play a pivotal role in investigating Nature and collaborate together with engineers, designers, economists and other professionals involved ad hoc depending on the specific challenge addressed.
The Biomimicry DesignLens is a collection of diagrams that visually represent the foundations of our design approach. It includes the core components of this approach: Essential Elements, Life’s Principles, and Biomimicry Thinking
Planet has been also entrusted to provide the italian version of the Design lens...check it out!