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Buzzword Friday: Biomimicry

Danny Ruspandini - Impact Labs Australia
Danny R.

I was chatting with a friend this week about green business stuff, but she lost me with biomimicry.

You could probably take a stab at what it means and she did offer a definition, but I still wanted to look it up because I like boiling it down to super simple language. I also like examples.

This is cobbled together from what I found:

Biomimicry = Sustainable solutions that mimic nature.

The idea is that your product or service can “adapt” to whatever is required for it to survive for a long time.

The sustainable part isn’t always automatic though. Nature is inherently sustainable, so mimicking nature is great if you can do it, but it then falls to the process and materials you use to produce it in a sustainable way... so there’s kinda 2 ways that sustainability feeds into it.

But let’s not take the shine off this - sustainable or not, it’s all just so awesome.

Some very cool examples of biomimicry:

  • Holes and chimneys in termite mounds have inspired architects to find more “natural” ways to cool buildings down. Apparently, termite mounds can maintain a constant, comfortable temperature inside regardless of the temperature outside!
  • The unique pads on a gecko’s toes that allow them to climb just about anything, have inspired many products from adhesives to band-aids to tyres.
  • “Spot” from Boston Dynamics looks to be inspired by a dog with a human arm for a head.
  • Some little grass burrs that stuck to a dog’s fur in the 1940’s inspired it’s owner took a look at them under a microscope, and invent velcro

There are countless more examples.

Not sure how it’ll help us yet, but I hope it was a fun read and, if you didn’t already know what biomimicry was, I hope this takes you into the weekend feeling smarter 😀

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