The Biomimicry Institute promotes learning from and then emulating natural forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable and healthier human technologies and designs. I heard its founder, Janine Benyus interviewed on Free Forum a few months back, and ever since I heard her speak, I have been focused on this concept, especially because it aligns so well with Indigenous thinking and behavior. It has inspired me to ask questions about the way I conduct my own business from a completely different perspective. (Our question of the moment is, “How would Nature protect fragile things from getting wet or damaged while in transport?” When I have the answer, I hope to have found a replacement for the shrink wrap that we use.) I am so excited by her work and the entire concept of the Biomimicry Institute.
You can see one of Janine Benyus’ TED Talks here.
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William McDonough’s proposal for a Tower of Tomorrow gives a compelling example of how Biomimicry operates. Working like a tree, this building “makes oxygen, distills water, produces energy, and changes with the seasons”.
The building’s curved shape reduces the impact of wind and the amount of materials needed for construction. The building contains a three story garden (and I’d imagine that fruits and vegetables can grow in these conditions) and a green roof.
Wastewater from sinks can be used to feed the building’s gardens. The wastewater from the gardens can be used in toilets. The southern facade is covered with solar panels, which can provide up to 40% of the buildings usage. Best of all, all the building materials can be recycled or “returned safely to the earth in true Cradle-to-Cradle fashion”.
How exciting is this? In future entries, I hope to share a little bit more about similar projects, several of which have been built. –