Biomimicry

Innovation inspired by Nature

Biomimicry (from {bios}, Greek for life, and {mimicry} to imitate, is a new science and practice of design that learns from Nature’s best solutions in the creation of innovative designs, processes and technologies offering sustainable solutions to human problems.

Biomimicry is a collaborative framework in which we catalyze the information we learn from more than 3.8 billion years of evolution with the inspiration we feel when we discover nature’s stories; it is a springboard for creativity that is only limited by our imagination

Biomimicry looks to the natural world as a springboard for unbounded creativity based on passionate respect for the Earth and Life as a whole. We firmly believe that life creates conditions conducive to life; and as Life we aspire to learn from the community of Life to do the same.

Biomimicry offers a methodology and a strategy to re-design the human presence on Earth in a more sustainable way, fitting in on Earth, our unique home

 

Life’s Principles

Biomimicry follows Life’s Principles, a distillation of the lessons from life on earth today. Life’s Principles instruct us to build from the bottom up, self-assemble, optimize rather than maximize, use free energy, cross-pollinate, embrace diversity, adapt and evolve, use life-friendly materials and processes, engage in symbiotic relationships, and enhance the bioproductivity. By following Life’s Principles we can be sure to create products and processes that are well adapted to life on earth.

Life’s Principles and Biomimicry Thinking are concepts and approaches developed by Biomimicry 3.8 which are now being applied by a growing global network of biomimics.

Biomimicry Thinking

Biomimicry Thinking is the method by which we bring nature to the design table. Biomimicry Thinking is a framework that is intended to help people practice biomimicry while designing anything. There are four areas in which a biomimicry lens provides the greatest value to the design process: scoping, discovering, creating, and evaluating. Following the specific steps within each phase helps ensure the successful integration of life’s strategies into human designs.

Case Studies

Here are some examples of applied biomimicry that members of the Biomimicry Iberia have been involved in:

  • A  bidirectional turbine inspired by the beak of the red flamingodeveloped by Rafael Aparicio of Biomival.
  • The Logoplaste – Vitalis bottle based on the growth principles of the Scots Pine.
  • An experiment in creating a regional circular bio-economy based on local production for local consumption (ecosystems level biomimicry); the glocal project is a collaboration between Forum for the Future and Ecover on the island of Mallorca.

Biomimicry Thinking Process

Biomimicry Thinking is a complex process combining Design and Systemic Thinking with Life Principles (sustainability). Drawing methods from design and engineering, Biomimicry Thinking fosters creativity while combining ideas from the arts, society, and the business world. Through observation, understanding and integration of strategies from the natural world we can build a solid platform for innovation.

The Biomimicry Thinking Process is 4 basic steps:

Scoping

When we start with high level design challenges it can be hard to see how to bring nature into the design process. Through a step by step clarification we can make sure to align with business/human issues, state problems in business/human terms and identify the functions in simple language. Once we understand what function we are trying to achieve, we can look to the natural world for solutions. Don’t ask “what do you want to design?” But ask “what do you want your design to do?” By integrating Life’s Principles in the scoping phase, we can bring biological and ecological insights to the design table.

Discovering

When we know what functions we want to perform we “biologize” the challenge, asking questions like: How does nature do that function? How does nature not do that function? How does nature do that function here, In these unique conditions? We then identify and discover natural organisms performing those functions, so we can learn from them. Translating Nature’s creative solutions into strategies to emulate, we unleash biomimetic creativity.

Creating

Brainstorming of bio-inspired ideas and the conversion from biological to technical solutions. Use all your best brainstorming tools.

Evaluating

The integration of sustainability goals is tested against the Life’s Principles, it is our way of knowing how well the ideas will fit in. Are we designing the way that Nature would? Design as Nature is design that creates conditions conducive to Life.

Agustín Falcó presents Biomimicry Iberia during a European Entrepeneur Workshop in Spain (3 min video and slides)

Manuel Quirós invited to discuss biomimicry by Spanish National TV cultural show (14 min video)