April 2009

Monthly Archive

WSJ: The Green House of the Future

Posted by on 26 Apr 2009 | Tagged as: biomimicry


The Wall Street Journal asks four leading architects for their vision of a near-term, buildable ‘green house of the future”.

What will the energy-efficient house of the future look like?

It could have gardens on its walls or a pond stocked with fish for dinner. It might mimic a tree, turning sunlight into energy and carbon dioxide into oxygen. Or perhaps it will be more like a lizard, changing its color to suit the weather and healing itself when it gets damaged. Those are just a handful of the possibilities that emerged from an exercise in futurism.

The Wall Street Journal asked four architects to design an energy-efficient, environmentally sustainable house without regard to cost, technology, aesthetics or the way we are used to living.

Continued at WSJ…

You can look forward to more on this topic coming from the Biomimicry Institute in the near future, plus of course an ever growing library biological inspiration at AskNature.org.

My New Car

Posted by on 25 Apr 2009 | Tagged as: automotive


Its been two years since Aptera – a new electric car company based in southern California – came onto my radar and 18 months since I placed my deposit. And this week I got to see one up close and personal during their visit to Palo Alto. Clearly this car is not for the shy, but its shape is purposeful: slip through the air while sipping power. If only Detroit had taken this to heart a few years ago.

When will it arrive in my garage? They say the first cars will roll off the production line in October and with allocation number 35 (they’ve taken over 4,000 deposits so far) I’m hoping to be driving mine this year. Of course thousands of challenges for a startup to deliver on time, so we shall see…

Biomimicry at the San Diego Zoo

Posted by on 05 Apr 2009 | Tagged as: biomimicry

I met a couple of enthusiastic folks from San Diego at Bioneers last year and wrote about their initial progress in December, so its great to read about their progress:
Dear friends,
Biomimicry continues to grow in San Diego!  Please see below for some of the highlights.

1.  Biomimicry Educational Conference.  The San Diego Zoo has partnered with the City of San Diego, the Biomimicry Institute, UCSD, Point Loma Nazarene University and San Diego State University to organize the region’s first biomimicry conference for educators!  It will be on October 2, 2009 and Janine Benyus will be the keynote speaker.  Please save this date, we will send more information soon.

2.  San Diego Science Festival.  The San Diego Zoo and High Tech High are hosting a biomimicry booth at the San Diego Science Festival’s Expo Day in Balboa Park, on April 4 from 10:30am – 6pm.  From animal encounters to fun games, you can learn about real examples in which nature has inspired new products.  We will be at the East end of the Bea Evenson fountain, between the Natural History Museum and the Ruben H. Fleet Science Center.  For more information, please visit http://www.sdsciencefestival.org/expo-day.html.

On Thursday, April 2nd from 6pm – 9 pm, San Diego Gas & Electric will discuss sustainable energy programs including smart grid initiatives, energy efficiency, and available careers in the energy industry! This event will give high school students and anyone interested in learning about green careers the opportunity to meet and network with engineering and technology industry experts. The event will be held at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center (1875 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101).  Space is very limited – please pre-register to secure your seat.

3.  Biomimicry in the News. “When people think of art, they think of the Louvre. When people think of nature-inspired designs and solutions,
they think of San Diego.  At least, that’s what local enthusiasts hope to achieve in the next several years.”  Rebecca Go at the San Diego Daily Transcript recently highlighted the efforts of the San Diego Zoo, the City of San Diego and High Tech High to help build San Diego into the first biomimicry hub.  To read the full article, please click here: http://www.sddt.com/News/article.cfm?SourceCode=20090326crn.

4.  AskNature.org.  The Biomimicry Institute has released its Beta version of AskNature.org, a database of nature’s unique functions and processes.  AskNature is a free, open source project, built by the community and for the community. Its goal is to connect innovative minds with life’s best ideas, and in the process, inspire technologies that create conditions conducive to life.  Please visit AskNature.org for your next business or research inspiration.

For more information on the San Diego Zoo’s work in biomimicry, please visit www.sandiegozoo.org/biomimicry.

If you would like to be added to this mailing list or have any biomimicry news or events that you would like to share, please email Helen Cheng at hcheng@sandiegozoo.org.
Helen Cheng
Office of Conservation Finance
Zoological Society of San Diego
PO Box 120551
San Diego, CA 92112-0551
Tel: (619) 557-3927
Cel: (619) 517-3216
Fax: (619) 744-3375