Architects of change | TV Program | To innovate is to immitate
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Janine Benyus

Solution / Biomimicry

The philosopher Francis Bacon wrote, “We cannot command nature except by obeying her”. That notion is advocated by biomimicry, an approach that attempts to study the characteristics and phenomena of the biosphere, in order to find guidance and inspiration for innovative technologies and sciences. The principle is simple: by emulating or taking inspiration from systems that have been tested by nature, we can create sustainable and functional structures and mechanisms.

Biomimicry consists not only in learning about nature, but also from nature. In this way, by observing how burrs stuck to his dog’s fur, engineer Georges de Mestral invented Velcro®. Similarly, self-cleaning walls were developed after scientists studied the so-called “lotus effect”, where water droplets bead up on the plant’s leaves and cleanse the surface. Nature has much to teach to those who want to learn...