What is biomimicry? Definition and examples of biomimicry (2024)

What is the definition of biomimicry? Where can we use this concept? What are the best examples of biomimicry and biomimetic applications? How does biomimicry contribute to sustainable development? Let’s find out.

What is biomimicry? Definition and examples of biomimicry (1)

What Is Biomimicry?

Biomimicry (literally:imitation of the living) aims to take inspiration from natural selection solutions adopted by nature and translate the principles to human engineering.The biomimicry approachaims to favor “choices” tested by nature which had millions of years to understand what works best and what doesn’t. Designs following biometrics will ultimately allow human productions to be more efficient, resilient and sustainable.

Biomimicry Institute Definition Of Biomimicry

According to the Biomimicry Institute, biomimicry can be defined as“an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies.The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul.”

A FewIdeas On The Principles Of Biomimicry

The central idea is that nature has already fixed many problems society is facing. Animals, plants,and microorganisms are experienced engineers. They know what works, what’s appropriate, and most importantly, what lasts on Earth. The main belief of the biomimicry approach is that after 3,8 billionyears of research and development, what did not work is now a fossil and what is around us is the secret to survival.

Biomimicry is a technological-oriented approach focused on putting nature’s lessons into practice. According to Janine Benyus, biomimicry sees nature as:

  • A model. It studies nature’s models and imitates them or uses them as inspiration for designs or processes with the goal of solving human problems
  • A measure. It uses ecological standards to judge the rightness of human innovations
  • A mentor. It is a new way of observing, assessing and valuing nature

What Is Biomimicry? A Visual Understanding

Biomimicry: Fields Of Application And Perspectives

Biomimicry concerns many sectors of human activity.From medicine to research, industry, economy, architecture and urban planning, agriculture and management… This list is not exhaustive because biomimicry is, above all, a question of how we approach these areas of expertise. Therefore, it may apply more or less directly to all sectors.

The concept of biomimicry is based on a key idea: nature always operates on the principles of economy and efficiency while generating no waste. Remember Lavoir saying “nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”? That’s the idea. No matter the field of application, the biomimetic philosophy is part of a global strategy of responsible and sustainable development that aims to balance the way the planet’s resources are used.

Examples Of Biomimicry

What is biomimicry? Definition and examples of biomimicry (2)

  1. Climbing pads capable of supporting human weight are a mimic of the biomechanics of gecko feet.
  2. The aerodynamics of the famous Japanese Bullet train was inspired by the shape of a bird’s beak.
  3. The first flying machine heavier than the air from the Wright brothers, in 1903, was inspired by flying pigeons.
  4. Architecture is inspired by termite mounds to design passive cooling structures.
  5. Velcro is born from the observation of the hooks implemented by some plants for the propagation of their seeds via animal’s coat.
  6. The study of shark skin is at the origin of particularly effective swimming suits, as well as a varnish for planesfuselage

The Norms Of Biomimicry For Companies And Businesses

Althoughbiomimicry is still an emerging sector, there are already some standards backing it up. It’s the case of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) withISO 18458(on the terminology, concepts,and methodology) and the standardISO 18459(biomimetic optimization). AFNOR also has a standard known as XP X42-502that focuses on biomimetic andeco-design.
Images credits to gecko feet on Shutterstock and biomimicry on Shutterstock

What is biomimicry? Definition and examples of biomimicry (2024)


What is biomimicry? Definition and examples of biomimicry? ›

Biomimicry is learning from and then emulating nature's forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable designs. Spider webs, for example, represent nature's ability to deter collisions.

What is biomimicry with examples? ›

Biomimicry looks to nature and natural systems for inspiration, using nature-inspired strategies for improving design. Through adaptation and evolution, nature spends millions of years tinkering its way out of problems, ending up with some mind-boggling innovations.

What is biomimicry answers? ›

Biomimicry is about valuing nature for what we can learn, not what we can extract, harvest, or domesticate. In the process, we learn about ourselves, our purpose, and our connection to each other and our home on earth.

When was the first example of biomimicry? ›

What is the first example of biomimicry? The flying machines of Leonardo Da Vinci are the earliest biomimicry example. He very closely observed the anatomy and flight of birds and made numerous notes and detailed sketches of his observations. These sketches of proposed "flying machines"...

What is an example sentence for biomimicry? ›

The lessons of biomimicry could even extend to market politics. For years, large companies have increasingly employed biomimicry to solve difficult engineering challenges.

What is an example of biomimicry shape? ›

Biomimetic design: 10 examples of nature inspiring technology
  • The bump-like tubercles on a humpback whale (Megaptera Novaeangliae) © Getty.
  • The Shinkansen bullet train zipping past Mt Fuji with its destinctive, kingfisher-inspired nose © Getty.
  • Leonardo da Vinci design for an Ornithopter.
  • © Getty Images.

Is biomimicry good or bad? ›

Is biomimicry ultimately good or bad? Biomimicry is ultimately beneficial as it can inspire new ideas for business design and development, but as with anything else – there are drawbacks to the use of biomimicry, such as the unpredictability of the outcome and our limited understanding of nature.

What is biomimetics simple? ›

: the study of the formation, structure, or function of biologically produced substances and materials (such as enzymes or silk) and biological mechanisms and processes (such as protein synthesis or photosynthesis) especially for the purpose of synthesizing similar products by artificial mechanisms which mimic natural ...

Which of the following is an example of biomimicry? ›

Examples Of Biomimicry

The aerodynamics of the famous Japanese Bullet train was inspired by the shape of a bird's beak. The first flying machine heavier than the air from the Wright brothers, in 1903, was inspired by flying pigeons. Architecture is inspired by termite mounds to design passive cooling structures.

How can humans use biomimicry? ›

Inspiration can be found by land, sea and air! Here are a few more examples of biomimicry: Down feather insulation. Heavy winter coats are stuffed with down or other feathers so that we can stay warm without flying south for the winter.

What is an example of biomimicry in the ocean? ›

Kelp: The Biowave water turbine mimics kelp, both in the way its foliage undulates and in the way it attaches itself to the seabed. Cuttlefish: The Sepios underwater robot was modelled on the cuttlefish.

What is biomimicry first grade? ›

Biomimicry is a fascinating and novel topic of study for younger students. Also called biomimetics, it comes from the Greek roots bios, meaning “life,” and mimesis, “to imitate.” It is observing “what works” in nature and mimicking it to solve problems, create, and innovate.

What are some examples of biomimicry robots? ›

Recently, biomimicry has led to advances in the field of robotics that not only draw inspiration from biology but also incorporate biological elements within them.
  • Biohybrid Machines. ...
  • Octopus-Inspired Medicine Delivery. ...
  • Bee-Inspired Drones. ...
  • Gecko-Inspired Adhesives. ...
  • Fish-Inspired Swimming.
Mar 21, 2023

What is an example of biomimicry clothing? ›

Innovations in Biomimetic Fashion
  • Spider Silk. One example of biomimicry in fashion is the development of synthetic spider silk. ...
  • Pineapple Leather. Another example of biomimicry in fashion is Piñatex, a leather-like material made from pineapple leaves, a waste product of the pineapple industry. ...
  • Shells and Crab waste.
Jun 13, 2023

What is the most common biomimicry? ›

Perhaps the most famous example of biomimicry is Velcro.

What is an example of a bio-inspired design? ›

Examples include: industrial-scale, climate-friendly manufacturing of proteins and artificial foods enabled by synthetic biology; synthetic systems for energy harnessing and storage inspired by living systems; autonomous robot swarms for construction and civil engineering; hybrid biomaterials that interact seamlessly ...

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