Butterflies exhibit vibrant colors and stay clean using nano-scale structures on their wings. Designers and engineers have emulated this strategy to create self-cleaning coatings, fabrics and paints, and electronic display screens.
What is Biomimicry?
Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a design discipline that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. The core idea is that Nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with: energy, food production, climate control, non-toxic chemistry, transportation, packaging, and a whole lot more.
Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most importantly, what lasts here on Earth. Instead of harvesting organisms, or domesticating them to accomplish a function for us, biomimicry differs from other “bio-approaches” by consulting organisms and ecosystems and applying the underlying design principles to our innovations. This approach introduces an entirely new realm for entrepreneurship that can contribute not only innovative designs and solutions to our problems but also to awakening people to the importance of conserving the biodiversity on Earth that has so much yet to teach us.