Does the forest hold the answers to sustainable design?

Temperate Deciduous Forest biomes around the world

Temperate Deciduous Forest biomes around the world

Genius of Biome: Temperate Deciduous Forest

Biomimicry 3.8 worked with global architecture and engineering firm HOK to study how lessons from the temperate broadleaf forest biome can inform sustainable built environment design. The resulting Genius of Biome report is highly visual and filled with insightful design strategies and sketches, application ideas and supporting research.


The Genius of Biome report describes the strategies and designs adopted by living organisms found in the temperate broadleaf forest biome. It describes the biological principles and patterns common to organisms and ecosystems within this biome. From this biology, designers can extract principles to inspire innovation and to identify specific criteria for place-based design for their projects.

By examining the strategies that plants and animals have used to thrive over millions of years, we can begin to conceive a completely different built environment—one that’s restorative and resilient and that works with nature.

Designers, architects and planners can use the report to begin integrating nature’s innovations into the design of buildings, communities and cities. If we can make these time-tested biological principles part of our design vocabulary, we all can define a new standard for what it means to practice sustainable design.

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