Aug27

Summer Reading List for Biomimics!

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We asked leaders in the biomimicry community – including Biomimicry Institute staff, founders of the Biomimicry Global Networks, our friends at Biomimicry 3.8, and our co-founder, Janine Benyus – for their summer reading recommendations, and have compiled a great list of books for your trip to the beach (or lake, reservoir, bay, pond, channel, estuary, fjord, bight, canal, wetland, lagoon, marsh, tributary, or river delta) this summer. Some may be better suited for hunkering down during winter months, but all will provide a new perspective in thinking about sustainability, innovation and design, and our relationship with the natural world. Enjoy!


 

Recommended by Janine Benyus, co-founder, Biomimicry Institute & Biomimicry 3.8

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Hidden Half of Nature by Anne Biklé and David R. Montgomery

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong

Adapt: How Humans Are Tapping into Nature’s Secrets to Design and Build a Better Future by Amina Khan

Recommended by Amy Coffman-Phillips, founder, Biomimicry Chicago network

Evolution by Stephen Baxter (Sci-Fi)

Storms of my Grandchildren by James Hansen

Birthright: People and Nature in the Modern World by Stephen Kellert

 

Recommended by Katherine Collins, author, The Nature of Investing, founder, Honeybee Capital Foundation

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams

 

Recommended by Lisa Dokken, biomimicry consultant and lecturer, Columbia University

The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planetby Kristin Ohlson

 

Recommended by Marjan Eggermont, associate dean, Schulich School of Engineering, and founding co-editor, Zygote Quarterly

Science of Seeing: Essays on Nature from Zygote Quarterly by Adelheid Fischer

 

Recommended by Chris Garvin, architect and founding board member, Biomimicry NYC network

Designing Regenerative Cultures by Daniel Christian Wahl

 

Recommended by Adiel Gavish, social media and communications manager, Biomimicry Institute and founder, BiomimicryNYC network

Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie

“You have a masterpiece inside you, you know. One unlike any that has ever been created, or ever will be. If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you.” – Gordon MacKenzie

The Story of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (Sci-Fi)

Recommended by Ron Gonen, co-founder and CEO, Closed Loop Fund

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

 

Recommended by Tim McGee, founder, Likolab

How to Raise a Wild Child by Scott D. Sampson

Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature’s most Dangerous Creatures by Carl Zimmer

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elizabeth Tova Bailey

Recommended by Nicole Miller, managing director, Biomimicry 3.8

Teeming: How Superorganisms Work Together to Build Infinite Wealth on a Finite Planet (and your company can too) by Dr. Tamsin Woolley Barker

 

Recommended by Beth Rattner, executive director, Biomimicry Institute  

What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins by Jonathan Balcombe

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

Recommended by Josh Stack, founder, Stack Resilience and co-founder, Biomimicry Northern Forest

Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs

Solving for Pattern by Wendell Berry (essay from his book, The Gift of Good Land)

Principles for Building Resilience: Sustaining Ecosystem Services in Social-Ecological Systems by Reinette Biggs

 

Recommended by Kathy Zarsky, systems director, HOLOS, and co-founder, and director, Biomimicry TX network

Patterns in Nature: Why the Natural World Looks the Way It Does by Phillip Ball

The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature by Phillip Ball

Seeds: Time Capsules of Life by Rob Kesseler

Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future by Betty Sue Flowers, Peter M. Senge and C. Otto Scharmer

Recommended by Joe Zazzera, founding principal, Plant Solutions

The Ground Beneath Us: From the Oldest Cities to the Last Wilderness, What Dirt Tells Us About Who We Are by Paul Bogard

RESOURCES

We also recommend checking out Joe Zazzera’s 111 “Books of Interest for the Biomimicry Professional” board on Pinterest!

In addition, we would like to encourage readers to obtain a copy of your local Master Naturalist’s reading list.


 

Originally published on the Biomimicry Institute + Global Biomimicry Network blog, Asking Nature.

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.

 

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Oct27

The Wisdom of Ancient Grains

Our most popular Tweet from the Omega Institute conference this weekend was a quote from Winona LaDuke, an American Indian activist, environmentalist and writer, “The corn they are making now isn’t intelligent. They’ve stripped away it’s innate wisdom, cultivated over hundreds of years. Corn made with chemicals is dumb. My corn is intelligent, it has spirit.”

She and Vandana Shiva both discussed the embedded wisdom found in the soil and seeds of corn and rice and how that wisdom is lost through genetic manipulation. Seeds that have undergone genetic engineering are deprived the ability to evolve, and therefore become resilent in conjunction with the ecosystem of which it is an integral part.

Vandana

Vandana explained that “seed freedom is the freedom of seeds to evolve.” That without evolution, no seed can become resilient to changing environmental conditions. And that when you work with evolution, you protect diversity. She encouraged farmers to work towards embedding health per acre, as opposed to other shorter term economic goals.

“The world is a brilliant flow of evolutionary potential.” ~ Vandana Shiva

Both speakers were awe inspiring, as they shared their stories of perseverance and grassroots advocacy. We encourage you to visit the Omega website and listen to their stories (video link to come).

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.

Dec10

BNYC December Newsletter

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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.”

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Oct03

BNYC October Newsletter

Janine Benus and Paul Hawken at Omega 2013

In this edition: Janine Benyus joins Bill Clinton at the Omega Institute for their annual “Where We go From Here” conference; HOK unveils their groundbreaking “Genius of Biome” report, helping us to design buildings that are locally attuned and responsive; and Tamsin Woolley-Barker explores, “How Would Nature Create Generous Cities?”

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Jul29

Biomimicry Conference Highlights

Global Biomimicry Conference

The first ever Global Biomimicry Conference explored nature inspired 3-D printing, Generous Cities, a Regenerative Economy and how Green Chemistry can lead the way in creating sustainable products.

Biomimicry consultant, Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker captures these inspiring and game changing ideas from the Conference in a series of articles featured in Triple Pundit.

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Apr20

BNYC in the Business Insider

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Jennifer Welsh interviews BiomimicryNYC Founder Adiel Gavish and Board Member Mark Dorfman on, “The Incredible Science Behind How Nature Solves Every Engineering Problem”.

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