November 2008

Monthly Archive A Peek Into Mother Nature’s R&D Lab

Posted by on 24 Nov 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry

Sustainable business and clean technology expert (and fellow Biomimicry Institute board member) Joel Makower offers a great overview of AskNature in this post: brings much of that wisdom to the public — a free service of the nonprofit Biomimicry Institute (on whose board I sit), with funding from design software company Autodesk. The database is the only public-domain online library of its kind, where users can search for and study nature’s solutions to design challenges. Continued…

Janine Benyus and EO Wilson Share Greenbuild’s Closing Keynote

Posted by on 21 Nov 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry

Bob Dylan’s “…for the times they are a changing…” echoed in the cavernous main hall of Boston’s Conference and Exhibition Center as two modern-day ‘rock stars’ prepared to take the stage for Greenbuild’s closing presentation. 29,752 showed up this week despite the turmoil in financial markets and thousands were inspired and learn about two critical sustainability tools.

A building conference may seem an odd place for two biologists to keynote, but as the first keynoter E.O Wilson reminded us in his opening “We are a biological species living in a biological world” so it is crucial that science and the future oriented businesses represented by the attendees come together.

Just one statistic he offered us: 60,000 known fungi, and the total may be north a million. But the human species is destroying biodiversity before we even know what we have. Wison is working to correct that through the Encyclopedia of Life.

Fellow keynoter Janine Benyus talked about a second tool: where we can now ask the question “How would nature do this?” and then flip through a catalog of nature’s most ingenious solutions. The Biomimicry Guild and the Biomimicry Institute provided the ‘starter culture’ and Janine urged the audience

We live in a very narrow band of what nature offers and now the potential for creative responses to our greatest challenges is exponentially easier – thank you Janine and EO for these extraordinary gifts. May they soon help us transform our culture from occupier to student, learning how to live sustainably, meeting our needs in ways more conducive to life.

Janine Benyus Previews “Ask Nature” at GreenBuild

Posted by on 20 Nov 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry, events

Many years in the making, The Biomimicry Institute’s Ask Nature portal will be formally launched tomorrow, but a few lucky visitors to Autodesk’s booth enjoyed a preview presented by the Janine.

Just one example: Janine and the team have identified 78 strategies nature uses to reduce drag. Incredible! to Provide Biological Design Information, Enabling More Sustainable Design

Posted by on 17 Nov 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry, events, green building

I’m headed to Boston tomorrow for the annual GreenBuild conference and expo. I have two agendas, first to find a few more innovative solutions for our home project, and second to be on hand for the launch of the Biomimicry Institute’s “AskNature” database/portal:

Autodesk, a leader in design innovation technologies, has announced the sponsorship of, the world’s first biomimicry database, featuring biology-inspired design strategies. Architects, designers and engineers can access and harness nature’s billions of years of evolution through this free, online public-domain library, filled with some of nature’s best strategies, organized by function and explained with illustrations and in language relevant to designers. Continued…

And if you’re attending GreenBuild, let me know and lets connect!

Posted by on 10 Nov 2008 | Tagged as: climate change, energy efficiency


In a rousing opening address at this year’s Bioneers conference, event co-founder Kenny Ausubel outlined his vision:

“…to re-imagine how to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations.” He went on to highlight biomimicry as “arguably the single most important design strategy to shoot the rapids of the next ten years.”

You can read Kenny’s complete address at The Huffington Post.

Biomimicry in Auto Sports

Posted by on 08 Nov 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry


It’s great to see biomimicry pop up in unusual places. Here’s a blog post that asks how nature would corner faster, go further, and stop sooner:

How do we implement this into F1?

Well, I have racked my brain over this matter for a while and have come up with a few ways biomimicry could be implemented into a sport that is widely renowned as the “most technical sport in the World.”

Hopefully, by the end of this article, you might have a few ideas of your own.  Please, don’t get me wrong, some of the ideas in this article could be far too advanced to bring into the sport. I’m not a scientist, I’m just inquisitive.

Continued at Bleacher Report, the ‘open source sports network’.

Image by Edwin van Nes

PAX Fan on Display at MOMA

Posted by on 03 Nov 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry

The PAX Lily mixer

Check out the video at ABC News.