Nov27

Earth is (already) great

koala-sleeping

A joint letter from the Biomimicry Institute and Biomimicry 3.8.

Let’s work together to build a just world for us all, with nature as a guide.

We’ve all spent too much time inside the last few days, looking at our computers and TV screens. In that time, birds were flying south for the winter, rain was restoring thirsty hills in California, and baby koalas were being born in Australia.

A species can only thrive if its strategies are tuned to the conditions it’s in–and if it’s in beneficial relationships with others. Humans have co-existed as a species on this planet for over 200,000 years as Homo sapiens sapiens. In that time, there have been many disturbances, challenges, and tensions between and amongst us. Somehow, we have eventually learned that we are always better together than alone.

And through it all, we always asked nature for help.

Nature adapts to changing conditions, over short and long periods of time. For that reason alone, it offers us humans millions of answers on how to build a fair world that works for all species.  

We have a vibrant planet, one full of solutions to every problem we have. As we all collectively navigate this time of great change ahead, we encourage everyone to continue to look to nature. Take long walks, have conversations with birds, spend time pondering the ants.  

Go outside – enjoy it, learn from it, and protect it.

Sincerely,

Your friends at the Biomimicry Institute and Biomimicry 3.8

Dec01

Message to COP21 leaders: Need solutions? Ask nature.

rome-, italy c-reuters

Right now, world leaders are gathering in Paris at COP21 with nothing less than the future of our planet at stake. Their goal is to create a new international climate change agreement that limits global warming below 2℃. If temperatures rise above that magic number, the UN predicts that between 20-30 percent of plant and animal species could be wiped out. If things continue as they currently are, we will certainly hit that number (atmospheric CO2 levels recently passed the 400 ppm mark, another measure of the damage we’re doing). We know we cannot allow this to happen.

As these leaders work to hammer out plans, they’re going to need to land on solid strategies to limit greenhouse gas emissions and keep our planet’s temperature from rising. Luckily, the solutions are right outside our window.

Nature is full of clues for how we can approach our climate change problems, in ways that not only reduce our climate impact, but help us to “…become producers of ecosystem services” (Janine Benyus). Biomimicry studies and then translates nature’s architecture, design, and engineering strategies to human design. Many of these strategies can apply directly to climate change challenges such as how nature upcycles carbon, harnesses the sun’s power, and creates electricity.

COP21 is focused on developing solid action plans and solutions. In that spirit, we want to share just a few of nature’s strategies and corresponding innovations that can lead us down a more life-sustaining path.

First, here is a small sample of some ways that nature captures greenhouse gases and creates renewable energy:

 

Carbon-gobbling cacti
The Saguaro cactus uses some of the carbon dioxide it removes from the atmosphere to make compounds called oxalates.These oxalates then combine with calcium ions taken up from the soil by the plants roots. After the cactus dies, the calcium oxalate slowly transforms into solid calcium carbonate (calcite), and sequesters atmospheric carbon dioxide into the soil. (more…)

Apr14

101 Ways Nature Will Save the World

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On Monday, April 13th, the BiomimicryNYC network helped Terrapin Bright Green launch their most recent white paper, “Tapping into Nature: The Future of Energy, Innovation and Business“. The paper, sponsored by NYSERDA, features 101 nature-inspired innovations and where they are in the marketplace  —  from concept to prototype, development and market.

The launch was held at the beautiful Loft Space at Pier A Harbor House overlooking the Hudson River and with views that included our Lady of Liberty.

Over 100 guests including sustainability professionals, business executives, architects, engineers, students and designers joined the festivities, which was also attended by sustainability pioneer Amory Lovins.

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Jonce Walker of Terrapin Bright Green with Benita Hussain of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Jonathan Simkins of American Express.

 

(more…)

Sep30

$100,000 Biomimicry Design Challenge Prize 2015

Ray C. Anderson 2015 biomimicry design challenge

The new $100,000 “Ray of Hope” Prize will be awarded annually to the prototype round winner, beginning in 2016.

Today, one in seven people does not have enough to eat. How will we feed nine billion in 2050?

Nature has the answers.

The Biomimicry Institute is partnering with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and food and conservation experts to solicit nature-inspired solutions toward ending world hunger.

From 2015-2017, our Global Biomimicry Design Challenge will mobilize thousands of students and professionals around the world to tackle the problem of food security.

Our goal: show how modeling nature can provide viable solutions to reduce hunger, while creating conditions conducive to all life.

READ MORE

 

Sources: Image and copy courtesy of Biomimicry 3.8
Jun09

Janine Benyus’ Vision: Cities that Function Like Forests

Janine Benyus Speaks at the ESRI Geodesign Summit

Janine Benyus shares her vision of “Cities that Function Like Forests” and how to get there using Ecological Performance Standards, in her talk at the 2014 Geodesign Summit.

Watch her inspiring presentation here on the Biomimicry Educator Network website.

“In her address, Janine describes how cities could be designed to function just like a forest: restorative, regenerative, sustainable, life giving. She also gives a great introduction to the concept of ecological performance standards, a set of design guidelines that could be used to build resiliency back into our urban environment.”

#Biomimicry #NatureKnows

Mar29

BNYC Featured in Planning Magazine

Planning Magazine_Mother Nature, Designer, Interview with Adiel Gavish

In a recent article for The American Planning Association’s publication, “Planning Magazine”, Dr. Nicola Davies explores biomimicry’s influence in urban planning. In her piece entitled, “Mother Nature, Designer: Using Biomimicry for Planning and Urban Design”, Ms. Davies sites nature inspired examples including the newly re-designed National Building Museum in Washington DC. The author makes a compelling case stating,

… designs can be adapted and transformed from structures that drain resources and energy into entire ecosystems that benefit communities, cities, and the planet.

Adiel Gavish touches on the application of ecological performance standards to resiliency planning in cities,

Because cities essentially operate at an ecologically sub-optimal level, utilizing these metrics aligns us with place-based ecological and biological standards.

Re-connecting to and meeting these standards can inform and improve resiliency planning as well as optimize investments in resilient infrastructure.

Read the full article here.

Feb19

Students United by Biomimicry

Student Design Challenge Winners: Dromedarily Sustainable

Treehugger held a Tweet Chat today with Ask Nature on the Biomimicry Student Design Challenge: Life Friendly Transportation Solutions.

We were thrilled to hear that 170 teams from 22 countries are signed up to be a part of this exciting challenge.

Students from around the globe are participating in this year’s challenge. Represented countries include Spain, Botswana, Brazil, Hawai’i, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Finland, China, Australia and Indonesia.

(more…)

Feb13

February Newsletter: Biomimicry Education 2014

Biomimicry education special edition

In this special edition of our newsletter, we bring you several options to learn how to do biomimicry – from the comfort of your own home, to traveling abroad. Below you will find several options to choose from in 2014, for the student, novice or professional!

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Dec10

BNYC December Newsletter

lobster-Richard Griffin-sstock

The latest news and trends in biomimicry and nature-inspired design, including “5 Tech Trends Mingling with Bio-Inspired Design”, “4 Bio-Inspired Tips to Create Better Teams” and “Biomimicry at the LA Auto Show.”

(more…)

Dec07

Student Design Challenge 2014

Student Design Challenge

BiomimicryNYC is helping to spread the word on Biomimicry 3.8’s annual Student Design Challenge. This year’s challenge focuses on sustainable transportation solutions: How can biomimicry help us address the deeper needs around transportation?

(more…)