May 2012

Monthly Archive

Cradle to Cradle &#174 Continuous Improvement Strategy Chart

Posted by on 31 May 2012 | Tagged as: Cradle to Cradle

I saw this image last week at the Cradle to Cradle Conference in San Francisco – it brilliantly summarizes the process companies can work through to become  “beneficial” in terms of their impact on global ecosystems, not just “less bad”.

The 100% GOOD GOAL:
Biological nutrients in safe carbon cycle. Technical nutients in continuous reuse periods.

MBDC’s Cradle to Cradle® Roadmap:
We work with corporate enterprises to develop positive goals and strategies, and assist in the execution with specific product design teams using multi-year, real quantity and quality continuous improvement strategies.

Learn more at: and

Top Ten Sustainability Initiatives of AT&T

Posted by on 30 May 2012 | Tagged as: CSR

Sometimes the simple things make for meaningful change, like finding and unplugging unused equipment:

9 ) Waste Management. AT&T is always looking to minimize waste. For example, AT&T remains dedicated to reducing the amount of e-waste generated. In 2010, AT&T collected over 95,000 computers, servers, and monitors for recycling, reuse, and donation. AT&T also has a strong relationship with Xerox Corporation to do a review of all printing devices in AT&T office buildings. With Xerox Corporation, AT&T was able to remove over 19,000 devices from almost 3,000 locations, reducing energy use by more than 35 percent.

Think Big and Think Boldly About the Future of Cleantech

Posted by on 28 May 2012 | Tagged as: cleantech

Peter Thiel offers some thoughts…

So can we do more with less in cleantech? Quite possibly we can. But we need to think about things in the same way we do in the computer industry. Is the breakthrough thorium? Is it something else? We certainly need a big breakthrough. Only then does it makes sense to work on incrementally improving it. The first step, as usual, is to think big and think boldly about the future.

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Janine Benyus Wins “Design Mind” Award

Posted by on 27 May 2012 | Tagged as: biomimicry

Congrats to Janine!

May 17, 2012
Dear Friend of Biomimicry,
I’m bursting with pride and want to make sure you’ve heard the exciting news. Our own Janine Benyus has won the Design Mind category of the 13th annual National Design Awards program sponsored by Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York.
The Design Mind is a prestigious award given in recognition of a visionary person, such as an educator, author, critic, curator, or designer, who has had a profound impact on design theory, practice, or public awareness.
I cannot think of a more apt honor for Janine, whose commitment to biomimicry has profoundly impacted the sustainable design movement and elevated a once unknown field to the international stage.
Janine responded to the news by saying:
“It has been my privilege and my lifelong passion to bring nature’s wisdom to the people who design our world. Being honored by this creative community is a halleluiah moment for biomimicry—a coming of age for nature-inspired design.”
The National Design Awards ceremony will be held on October 17 at a gala dinner in New York, where Janine will be honored along with the other nine category winners.
As she mentions above, this is a win not only for Janine, but also for all of us who care about biomimicry. Recognition by the National Design Museum ensures that more people will learn about the power of biomimicry to transform design.
These victories make it easier to bring biommicry into your own company, organization, or classroom.
Please join me in celebrating this biomimicry win by passing along this great news.
Best wishes,
Bryony Schwan
Executive Director
Biomimicry 3.8 Institute


Charting a Course for Computer-Aided Bio-inspired Design Research

Posted by on 13 May 2012 | Tagged as: biomimicry, events


The first NSF sponsored Bio-Inspired Design Workshop was held in March 2011, here’s a follow-on:

Bio-inspired design (BID) or biomimicry is an emerging research area in engineering design, computer science and biology that seeks to systematically mine biological knowledge to solve existing engineering problems.  However, the community of BID researchers at present is fragmented with no professional society, unifying funding source, or recurring conference meeting. Continued at

Insect Eyes Inspire Smartphone Projector

Posted by on 12 May 2012 | Tagged as: biomimicry

A problem with projectors, especially if they are going to work via a smartphone setup in random locations, is projecting a regular image. The researchers who developed the projector at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena were able to solve this problem with a little biomimicry:
“Our projector consists of hundreds of tiny microprojectors in an array, each of which generates a complete image” explains Marcel Sieler, a scientist at IOF. “This technology, known as ‘array projection’, is modeled on nature – on the compound eye found in some insects – and with it for the first time we can create very thin and bright LED projection systems with tremendous imaging properties.”

Neri Oxman & Mediated Matter

Posted by on 11 May 2012 | Tagged as: biomimicry

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Inspiring indeed!

Architect and designer Neri Oxman is assistant professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab, where she directs the Mediated Matter research group. Her group explores how digital design and fabrication technologies mediate between matter and environment to radically transform the design and construction of objects, buildings, and systems. Oxmanís goal is to enhance the relationship between the built and the natural environments by employing design principles inspired by nature and implementing them in the invention of digital design technologies.

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