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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

Nature can guide ‘better way to live’

April 6th, 2017|Categories: Planning, Resilience, Water|Sectors: , , , |

Nature can guide 'better way to live'

The growing community of biomimicry practitioners has a bright star in Sara El Sayed, who is using her Master’s of Science in Biomimicry from ASU to help grow sustainable food systems in Egypt. Sara’s hard work to use nature as a guide to better living is highlighted in this The Lifestyle Journal profile.

Curated by Jenna Cederberg

‘Seedkit’ helps plant biomimicry inspiration for cities of the future

March 18th, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Planning, Policy, Structures, Water|Sectors: , , |

'Seedkit' helps plant biomimicry inspiration for cities of the future

It’s a remarkable (and 100% achievable!) vision: Imagining how nature’s genius can help transform design and create sustainable cities of the future. A new toolkit from Urban Greenprint is exploring how employing biomimicry can manage waterflow, drawing from strategies found in the rainy Pacific Northwest. The wonderfully-named Seedkit allows users to easily explore an awesome set of water management ideas–all inspired by nature.

Curated by Jenna Cederberg

Seagrasses wave goodbye to pathogens

March 3rd, 2017|Categories: Water, Wellness|Sectors: , , |

Seagrasses wave goodbye to pathogens

Research done off the Indonesian coast suggest that seagrasses reduce the concentration of pathogenic microorganisms in the water column, helping fish and coral reefs thrive, as detailed in this Science magazine article. Whether the seagrass strategy involves chemistry, surface physics, or a surprisingly new mechanism remains to be seen, the potential for new public health approaches in the face of failing antibiotics is exciting.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman

New technology could help us emulate nature’s brilliant shapes

February 4th, 2017|Categories: Additive Manufacturing, Architecture, Carbon, Energy Efficiency, Engineering, Materials, Product Design, Structures, Textiles, Water|Sectors: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

New technology could help us emulate nature’s brilliant shapes

The key to many of nature’s strategies is using shape rather than material. Emulating those shapes, especially at the nano-scale, has proven challenging. This new platform technology has the potential to leverage the shape of nature’s surface textures to add functionality to a wide variety of surfaces by building from the bottom up.

Dayna-01Curated by Dayna Baumeister

Design inspiration from movement without muscles

January 5th, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Packaging, Product Design, Structures, Water|Sectors: , , , |

Design inspiration from movement without muscles

Plants move without muscles—how cool is that?! This recently published paper summarizes recent developments of plant-inspired adaptive structures and materials for morphing and actuation. Several amazing insights by the researchers include that plant motion is water-driven and integrates structure with actuators. These lessons could inspire the design of wide-ranging structural systems that demonstrate adaptive behaviors.

Erin-01Curated by Erin Rovalo

Sea mussel-inspired coating could pull dyes out of oceans

December 5th, 2016|Categories: Textiles, Waste, Water|Sectors: , , , |

Sea mussel-inspired coating could pull dyes out of oceans

Sea mussels can inspire technology to remove industrial dyes from polluted rivers. Inspired by the sea mussel’s use of polydopamine-based chemistry to adhere itself to underwater surfaces, scientists in China have developed a functionalized coating on kaolin mineral that enables it to adsorb organic dyes in water. The research is detailed in this Spring Link 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

Healthy ecosystems’ role in combatting climate change

October 16th, 2016|Categories: Carbon, Climate Change, Water|Sectors: , |

Healthy ecosystems’ role in combatting climate change

This essay by Justin Adams, of The Nature Conservancy, touches on some key points about the role healthy ecosystems play in climate change. He also brings up “capitalizing on co-benefits” as a selling point for conservations, which outlines the same logic that drives our biomimicry work in Ecological Performance Standards.

Jamie-01Curated by Jamie Dwyer

Initiative helps to harness power of ecosystem services

September 22nd, 2016|Categories: Architecture, Carbon, Climate Change, Planning, Water|Sectors: |

Initiative helps to harness power of ecosystem services

Native ecosystems provide crucial “services” that help create conditions conducive to life. They do things like clean air, purify water, and store carbon. With that in mind, Biomimicry Chicago is launching a new initiative this fall in hopes of creating a “radical shift” in how the city of Chicago builds. The Prairie Project, outlined in this post, aims to bring diverse, multidisciplinary teams together to help change the way cities are build. It’s exciting because native ecosystems, thanks to all the services they provide, are inherently sustainable and regenerative.

Jenna-01Curated by Jenna Cederberg