Imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems

Some examples of Biomimicry:

Early examples of biomimicry are found in Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches for flying machines and in the work of Filippo Brunelleschi: after studying the strength of eggshells, the Renaissance architect designed a thinner, lighter dome for his cathedral in Florence, completed in 1436.

Later, in 1719, paper producers shifted from using cotton and linen fibres after French entomologist Réne-Antoine Réaumur suggested the wasp’s use of wood pulp in nest-building demonstrated a better alternative.

In 1809, naval architect Sir George Cayley studied dolphins to make ships’ hulls more streamlined.

Yet perhaps the most famous example of biomimicry came in 1948 when Swiss engineer George de Mestral walked his dog: it emerged from the bushes covered in burrs. After examining the burrs’ tiny hooks under a magnifying glass, he designed Velcro.

Biological organisms have already provided solutions in areas such as zero-waste systems, low-temperature manufacturing and efficient materials and structures.

Advances in scientific knowledge, manufacturing technology and digital design tools make now the moment to embrace biomimicry.

February 9, 2024