Biomimicry

Nature is a constant source of inspiration and after studying biomimicry (the art and science of emulating nature) in Costa Rica a couple of years ago, I turn to Nature as a mentor on a daily basis.

The basis of biomimicry is that after 3.85 billion years of R & D, Nature has figured out smart, sustainable and beautiful ways of doing so many of the things we’re trying to figure out what to do.

The key question in biomimicry is ‘how does nature…’ – whatever it is that you’re considering doing. Be it product or systems design, there is quite possibly a strategy or a technology in nature which can be emulated.

If this captures your imagination, I suggest you start here, with Janine Benyus’ TED talk. Biologist, innovation consultant and author, Janine has led the recent development of biomimicry as a design discipline and tool for innovation. And explore here – website of Biomimicry 3.8, the group in the U.S. I studied with.

On a personal note, a friend asked me recently if there is something in nature which does what I do, the question resonated with me, for obvious reasons. And while I’m still exploring this, at the moment, the scout bee is at the top of my list.

Very simply, a scout bee has a number of specialised functions, one of which is scouting for flower nectar. She heads off in search of nectar and comes back to tell the other bees. She does this by doing a waggle dance. The angle of the dance indicates the direction of the flowers, the duration indicates the distance. How cool is that?…Another key function of the scout bee is locating a new home. Again, she communicates symbolically by way of a waggle. While I’ve yet to create my own waggle dance, this website is one of the ways I can tell you where to find some nectar. My way of nourishing the hive.

So I have a question for you… Is there something in nature that does what you do?

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