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Kyla Garlid

on 15 March 2015

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Transcript of Biomimicry

What is Biomimicry?
Still Confused?
The Conscious Emulation
of Life's Genius
Three Levels of Biomimicry
• Biomimicry is learning from and then consciously emulating natural forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable designs.
• Conscious:

- Not simply "This reminds me of something in the natural world." = Convergent Evolution

- Conscious forthought (An active seeking of nature's advice before something is designed)

- Create something that can fit seemlessy within the larger natural system, that embody Life's Principles
• First Level: The Mimicking of Natural Form
By Kyla Garlid
• Bios, which is Greek for life, and mimesis, which means to imitate
• A design discipline, a branch of science, a problem-solving method, a sustainability ethos, a movement, a stance toward nature, a new way of viewing and valuing biodiversity?
• The Core Idea:
- Learning to live gracefully on this planet by creating new products, processes, and policies -- new ways of living -- that are well adapted to life on earth over the long haul

- Nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with: energy, food production, climate control, benign chemistry, transportation, collaboration, and more.

- There are million of ideas evolved in context, tested over eons, and proven to be safe for this generation and the next.
• Biomimicry’s greatest legacy = a profound and deepening respect for the natural world
- Respect is what differentiates biomimicry from past efforts to dominate, domesticate, or steal nature’s secrets.
- Biomimicry ushers in an era based not on what we can extract from nature, but on what we can learn from it.
Greatest Legacy
• The shift = from learning about nature to learning from nature

- Shift requires = a new method of inquiry, new set of lenses, and a new humility.
The Shift
• Emulation:

- Designs aren't shallow in their mimicry but rather as fully life-inspired as possible

- How does something meet its needs while helping to enhance its habtitat?

- Triple Bottom Line: An approach to sustainability that attempts to meet environmental, economic, and social goals simultaneously
• Life's Genius:

- Have the spark of true insight because they've evolved in response to Earth's mandate

- How its technologies contribute to the continuation of not just one life but all life on Earth.
Life's Genius
- You may mimic the hooks and barbules of an owl's feather to create a fabric that opens anywhere along its surface

- You can imitate the frayed edges that grant the owl its silent fight

- Copying feather design is just the beginning, because it may or may not be sustainable
Second Level
• Second Level: The Mimicking of Natural Processes

- How a thing is made?

- The owl feather self-assembles at body temperature without toxins or high pressures, by way of nature's chemistry
Third Level

• Third Level: The Mimicking of Natural Ecosystems

- The owl feather is gracefully nested-- it's part of an owl that is part of a forest that is part of a biome that is part of a sustaining biosphere

- Must be part of a larger economy that works to restore rather than deplete the earth and its people
Biomimicry Syllabus
1. How does life make things? Without Heat, Beat, and Treat?
- 96% of the initial product ultimately becomes waste
- Life can't afford this
2. How does life make the most of things?
- By adding information to matter (structure) this gives it a function
- ex. Geranium Pollen (it's shape gives it the ability to tumble through air easily)
3. How does life make 'things' disappear into systems?
- Life doesn't deal in 'things', there are no things in the natural world divorced from their systems
12 Big Ideas For Biology
1. Self-Assembly:
- The Spontaneous formation in which atoms, molecules, and components arrange themselves into ordered, functional entities with no active human involvement
Ex: Mother of Pearl
- Formed in sea water
- Incredibly tough (2x as tough as high tech ceramics)
Ex: Sandia National Labs - Jeff Brinker
- Sol-gel: make ceramics at room temp by dipping something into a solution lifting it out and have it form from evaporation
- Jigsaw together all hard materials that way
Self Assembly
- Spraying precursor to PV cells
(solar cells) on roofs and have it
self assemble into layered
structure that harvests light at
- Creating perfect lenses inspired by brittle stars who are covered with lenses that have no distortion at Lucent Technologies
- Joanna Eisenberg at Lucent discovered
fiber optics inspired by sea sponges that
work better than ours but are also incredibly
12 Big Ideas For Biology
2. CO2 As a Feedstock:

- Humans views CO2 as the biggest poison of our time but nature sees it as a building block

- Geoff Coates at Cornell found a catalyst that takes CO2 and makes Polycarbonates to create biodegradable plastics out of CO2
12 Big Ideas For Biology
3. Solar Transformations:
- Mimicking energy harvesting device inside of purple bacteria at ASU
12 Big Ideas For Biology
4. The Power of Shape:
- Frank Gish of Westchester University found that the tubicals on a whales fin when applied to the edge of an air planes wing, increases efficiency by 32%
The Power of Shape
Color Without Pigment:
- Peacocks create color with shape and light
- Light comes through and bounces back off layers (thin film interference)
Cleaning Without Chemicals:
- Self cleaning with just
rain water like a lotus leaf
- Water repels dirt particles
- Lotusan ISPO mimics the bumps in self cleaning leaf
- Purple Bacteria:
proteobacteria that are phototrophic, that is, capable of producing energy through photosynthesis.
5. Quenching Thirst:

- The Namibian Beetle pulls its drinking water out of fog

- The Pill Bug pulls water out of air (doesn't drink fresh water)
12 Big Ideas For Biology
12 Big Ideas For Biology
6. Metals Without Mining:
- Separating techniques- no more hard rock mining
- Microbes do this
- Imbeding mimics of microbes on fiters to mine waste streams
12 Big Ideas For Biology
7. Green Chemistry:
- Replacing industrial chemistry with natures recipe book
- Life uses only a subset of the periodic table and we use all of elements even the toxic ones
- Small subset create miracle materials like spider silk
12 Big Ideas For Biology
12 Big Ideas For Biology
12 Big Ideas For Biology
12 Big Ideas For Biology
12 Big Ideas For Biology
"Janine Benyus: The Promise of Biomimicry." TED: Ideas worth Spreading. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 June 2013.

"Janine Benyus: Biomimicry in Action." TED: Ideas worth Spreading. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 June 2013.

"Biomimicry 3.8." Biomimicry 38. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 June 2013.

Benyus, Janine M. . Biomimicry. New York: Harper Perennial, 2002. Print.

"Biomimicry Institute - What Is Biomimicry?" Biomimicry Institute - What Is Biomimicry? N.p., n.d. Web. 03 June 2013.

"What Is Biomimicry?" - AskNature. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 June 2013.

"Biomimicry | Fast Company." Fast Company. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 June 2013.

Withgott, Jay, and Scott R. Brennan. Environment: The Science behind the Stories. San Francisco [u.a.: Pearson/Benjamin Cummings, 2010. Print.
8. Timed Degradation:
- Packaging = holds its form until you don't need it anymore and it dissolves on cue
- Mussels and the threads that tie them to the rock that they sit on dissolve at exactly 2 years
9. Resilience and Healing
- Tardigrades = Dry out completely and yet it stays alive for months and regenerates
- Vaccines don't get to patients because refrigeration time gets broken
- Bruce Rosner of Cambridge (Biosignal) found a way to dry out vaccines and encase them in sugar capsules (like the ones in the tardi's cells )
- These vaccines can be put in a glove compartment or a purse or taken across the Sahara desert
10. Sensing and Responding
- Locusts: 80 million of them in a sq. km and yet they don't collide
- We have 3.6 million car crashes a year
- At U Newcastle and UC Berkeley along with Volvo and the Navy have found that the locust has a large neuron in the brain that allows them to do this
- They are figuring out how to create a collsion aviodance circuitry
11. Growing Fertility
- Net Fertility farming at the growing capacity of this planet
- Ecosystems create more and more opportunities for life
- Our farming has done the opposite
- Farming based on how a prairie builds soil
- Ranching based on how a native ungulate herd actually increases the health of the range
- Waste water treatment based on marsh, how it not only cleans water but also creates incredible productivity
12. Life Creates Conditions Conducive to Life
- Nature builds soil, cleans air, cleans water, mixes a cocktail of gases that we need to live, and it does all while still meeting its needs
- The two are not mutually exculsive. We have to figure out how to meet our needs while making of this planet an eden
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