February 14, 2008


Using Nature as a Design Guide: Janine Benyus, dean of the burgeoning "biomimicry" design movement, helps companies look to the natural world to help take their business green (Matt Vella, 2/14/08, Business Week)

Spot the common theme: a bullet train with a distinctly bird-like nose; massive wind turbines whose form was inspired by the shape of whales' fins; ultra-strong, biodegradeable glues developed by analyzing how mussels cling to rocks under water. The creators of each product used nature as their guide. In the past 10 years the practice, known as biomimicry, has yielded a variety of compelling, quirky, and elegant innovations across industries. And as consumers and companies alike find themselves grappling with ever-larger ecological footprints, the design method is taking its place as a core sustainability strategy.

Enter Janine Benyus, the driving force behind the movement. Benyus is the biologist-cum-evangelist who first defined its contours in her 1997 book, Biomimcry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. In it, she detailed how companies could study nonpolluting, energy-efficient manufacturing technologies that have evolved in the natural world over billions of years, delivering in the process a lesson on the importance of living in harmony with nature.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 14, 2008 12:00 AM
Comments for this post are closed.