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Resilient architecture that helps fight climate change

April 7th, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Business Models, Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Resilience, Structures, Waste, Water, Wellness|Sectors: , |

Resilient architecture that helps fight climate change

Thomas Knittel of McLennan Design has written a thought provoking article in Arcade magazine about his work on an orphanage project in Haiti. Beyond appreciating the form and process inspirations from nature (the strength of tree branching and the filtering ability of bark), I was intrigued by the ecosystem-level thinking that became ingrained in the project. There are not many project teams that are learning resilience lessons from population biology case studies and applying that idea to their buildings, and I found it heartening and valuable.

Curated by Jamie Dwyer

Insect wing flexibility principle adds major turbine oomph

March 11th, 2017|Categories: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Structures|Sectors: |

Insect wing flexibility principle adds major turbine oomph

Lessons from nature don’t always have to be complex. The simple principle of “add flexibility rather than rigidity” helped researchers at Paris-Sorbonne University demonstrate the potential to yield 35% more power from wind turbines. While the challenge now lies in scaling the prototypes, abstracting the simple design principle opened up new ways of thinking about blades.

Curated by Dayna Baumeister

Uniting around a common challenge for all life on Earth

January 26th, 2017|Categories: Carbon, Climate Change|Sectors: , |

Uniting around a common challenge for all life on Earth

In this article, David Suzuki challenges us to use the forest as a sophisticated model of energy production to move beyond our “primitive idea of burning” in order to survive. He reminds us that all species share similar challenges in our quest to survive and thrive, and a biomimicry approach to the climate change challenge would give us all the answers we need.

Erin-01Curated by Erin Rovalo

Turning waste on its head by commercializing carbon

January 13th, 2017|Categories: Carbon, Circular Economy, Climate Change|Sectors: |

Turning waste on its head by commercializing carbon

A new carbon capture and utilization technology turns CO2 into baking soda and other useful compounds for commercialization. It’s estimated this could prevent the release of 60,000 tons of CO2 annually into the atmosphere–making a nice dent in global emissions, according to this BBC article. This type of closed loop innovation is aligned with ecological trophic cycles and demonstrates exciting opportunism when we flip the idea of waste on its head.

Erin-01Curated by Erin Rovalo

Commonwealth looks to reverse climate change, with the help of biomimicry

November 13th, 2016|Categories: Carbon, Climate Change, Organizations, Planning, Policy|Sectors: , |

Commonwealth looks to reverse climate change, with the help of biomimicry

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 52 countries around the world–many island nations–that are home to 2.2 billion people. In its effort to find fresh perspectives for potential innovation to combat climate change, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland invited Biomimicry 3.8 co-founder Janine Benyus to share biomimicry-based solutions at the Commonwealth’s Regenerative Development to Reverse Climate Change Workshop.
“If we can put pilot projects down on the ground in Commonwealth countries it will be like piloting the sort of regenerative world we need to create, making use of different biospheres, countries with different profiles,” Janine said in this Guardian article.

Jenna-01Curated by Jenna Cederberg

Pulling energy form indirect ‘sunlight’

November 11th, 2016|Categories: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency|Sectors: , |

Pulling energy form indirect ‘sunlight’

Plants may teach us how to collect solar energy even from devices that are not, themselves, wholly exposed to sunlight. Scientists in Korea have demonstrated that light receptors in the underground root systems of thale cress are activated by so-called “stem-piped light” from the plant’s sun-exposed shoots, according to this Science Magazine article.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman

Sustainably-generate energy, courtesy of blue-green algae

November 4th, 2016|Categories: Carbon, Climate Change, Water|Sectors: , , , |

Sustainably-generate energy, courtesy of blue-green algae

Blue-green algae, one of the oldest bacteria on earth, can switch its photosynthesizing apparatus off and on in response to high or low concentrations of nitrogen in its surroundings, respectively, according to this Current Biology article. Such control mechanisms will be useful as humans learn how to mimic and utilize photosynthesis to sustainably generate energy and synthesize useful chemicals.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman

Coral reefs brilliance captured on film

October 28th, 2016|Categories: Carbon, Climate Change, Social Innovation|Sectors: |

Coral reefs brilliance captured on film

Coral reefs are the source of an awesome amount of inspiration for anyone looking to design for a more sustainable future, from the way they capture carbon to build material to the way they support immense diversity within their ecosystems. This new video reveals a bit of that awesomeness of coral in action to raise awareness about their brilliance, and about the danger climate change and other environmental challenges are posing to the reefs.

Jenna-01Curated by Jenna Cederberg

It’s happening: Furniture made from air pollution

October 23rd, 2016|Categories: Carbon, Circular Economy, Climate Change, Materials, Product Design|Sectors: , |

It’s happening: Furniture made from air pollution

It’s an attention-grabbing headline: The notion that furniture mad by a global manufacturer like Ikea could use plastic that’s “made of air pollution.” But, it’s not science fiction. I’ve talked about many ways we can look to nature, which uses carbon as a feedstock, to help reverse climate change. This Design + Innovation article details how the California-based Newlight Technologies is using carbon and methane to make it’s AirCarbon plastic.

Janine-01Curated by Janine Benyus

How zooplankton can help reverse climate change

October 21st, 2016|Categories: Carbon, Climate Change, Materials|Sectors: |

How zooplankton can help reverse climate change

Salps are gelatinous zooplankton that sometimes form large swarms. Not only do their body structures suggest interesting design ideas for gelatinous products, and provide new examples for swarm theory, but their role in carbon sequestration is more substantial than realized, according to this Nippon Foundation article. Among the crucial carbon farming solutions currently being investigated, salp swarms should be included.

Robyn-01Curated by Robyn Klein