Cambridge, Mass. – September 21, 2011 – After a rain, the cupped leaf of a pitcher plant becomes a virtually frictionless surface. Sweet-smelling and elegant, the carnivore attracts ants, spiders, and even little frogs. One by one, they slide to their doom.
Adopting the plant’s slick strategy, a group of applied scientists at Harvard have created a material that repels just about any type of liquid, including blood and oil, and does so even under harsh conditions like high pressure and freezing temperatures.
Continued at http://harvard.edu/news-events
Benyus agreed to sit down for an interview, and she discussed projects like bullet trains modeled after bird’s beaks and wind farms designed to mimic schools of fish. She also explained how biomimicry should inspire conservation, and why we might see biomimetic 3-D printing in the next 20 years. Watch now at treehugger.com
Additional coverage at: smartplanet.com
Congrats to Janine, Dayna, Chris, Bryony and the rest of the team in Montana and beyond on the launch of the new brand identity:
A Natural Progression for an Evolutionary Leap
|Click above to watch a short video of Janine Benyus describing our transformation.|
As practicing biomimics, we know that a sustainable world, 3.8 billion years in the making, already exists. For 14 years, The Biomimicry Guild and The Biomimicry Institute have been re-introducing the natural world to the innovators and educators who are re-imagining ours.
With over 250 clients, we’ve helped redesign sneakers, carpets, furniture, manufacturing processes, airplanes, and even entire cities, all in nature’s sustainable image. We’ve reached millions through talks and trained hundreds who now practice biomimicry in their professions. We’ve created the world’s first online library of nature’s solutions, aptly named AskNature. We’ve mobilized a network of K-12 teachers and university professors to teach biomimicry to the next generation. It’s been a fabulous ride.
One thing we’ve learned, though, is that organisms never stop innovating to excel. They’re constantly adapting to their changing habitats – reshuffling genetic material, testing new behaviors, and sometimes evolving, like Darwin’s finches, into entirely new species.
In the last few years, the biomimicry field has changed at a stunning pace. Like a time-lapse of a fiddlehead fern, we’ve watched this new discipline unfurl and propagate throughout the world. We’ve discovered again and again that biomimicry works because it offers a turnaround strategy for our species, a practical way for us to fit in and flourish on this planet by emulating 3.8 billion years of brilliant designs and strategies.
How Would Nature Propagate Biomimicry?
We’ve been training, connecting, and equipping a network of biomimicry leaders who have begun to transform our world. Now, more and more people tell us they want to consult nature for sustainable design solutions but they lack training and support. There is much to be done before there is a biologist at every design table.
So, in true biomimicry fashion, we asked ourselves: How would nature meet the changing needs of biomimics around the world? How would nature bring biomimicry to scale?
The answer is an exciting new direction that has us evolving from a small consultancy and non-profit into our emerging role as the world’s leading provider of training, resources, and network services in biomimicry. We have a new name, a new logo, and a heightened sense of passion and purpose.
Welcome to Biomimicry 3.8!
Biomimicry 3.8 (www.biomimicry.net) is a new branch on our evolutionary tree. It’s a new species of company with a global reach that weaves together our non-profit and for-profit goals. Biomimicry 3.8 extends and expands upon our heritage of bringing together scientists, engineers, architects, and other innovators to create sustainable technologies and business practices.
Our new name evokes deep evolutionary time: billions of years, brilliant solutions. It also signals an integration of our premier organizations, the Biomimicry Guild and The Biomimicry Institute, into a single identity with the financial and managerial gusto to take biomimicry mainstream, make it global, and let it localize in thousands of communities worldwide.
Under the colorful umbrella of the Biomimicry 3.8 brand, you’ll find our non-profit institute, corporate consulting firm, and worldwide speakers bureau as well as our new Professional Pathways training and certification system. You’ll also hear great things from our emerging community of Biomimicry 3.8 regional alliances, including our torch-bearing colleagues in Northeast Ohio, The Netherlands, South Africa, and elsewhere around the world.
A New Look Signaling Our Evolution
We’ll be sporting our cool and, of course, biologically inspired logo. We geeked it out bone-deep with, among other things, a mathematical formula called Murray’s law embedded into its elegant network-like structure.
Murray’s describes how nature distributes gases and liquids with a minimum of friction – lungs, tree branches, roots, leaf veins, and human arteries all share the same formula. So structurally our logo symbolizes optimal flow through a network of biomimicry professionals who will distribute nature’s know-how, friction-free, to the world.
That’s just a taste. Soon we’ll be sharing a lot more about the thinking that’s gone into our new visual identity as well as every aspect of our natural progression.
Preparing for an Evolutionary Leap
Our ultimate goal is to train, connect, and equip a global network of biomimicry leaders who will transform the world by emulating nature’s designs and core principles. We’re well on our way, and the next few years will be by far the most exciting since we began this trek 14 years ago.
We’re conditioning our organizational muscles, extending our surface area, and funding our growth through donations and investments so we can offer what biomimicry practitioners have told us they need: tools, data, training, and community.
Over the coming weeks and months we will be pulling back the curtain to reveal how we’re evolving not only our name and visual identity, but also many aspects of our organization and how we inspire, create, and deliver value to our global network of clients, partners, students, and other peers.
You’ll hear about some of the projects in the queue, like a large-scale expansion and redesign of AskNature, three new online Professional Pathways courses with the potential to reach hundreds of thousands, and even our vision for a conference without walls (bring sunscreen).
In the meantime, keep your antennae tuned and let your imagination run. Together we can and will create a world mentored and empowered by nature’s genius.
Inspired by our future,
The Founders Circle at Biomimicry 3.8
Janine Benyus, Dayna Baumeister, Bryony Schwan and Chris Allen
P.S. Watch Janine describe our new transformation in this short video.