Biomimicry - How Nature Inspires Art
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Biomimicry is an underappreciated part of our culture. Biomimicry lives in our art, architecture, technology, and more. It is an integral part of many groundbreaking inventions, which are often chalked up to human creativity. But what is biomimicry, and what makes it so important?
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What is Biomimicry?
Biomimicry is the act of emulating or getting inspiration from natural phenomenon or objects, to create architecture, technology, or any other invention. We can find solutions to many problems through natural processes, and imitating them in our daily lives. Biomimicry is a way for designers to learn about nature and its mechanisms, and bring them into working creations.
How is Biomimicry used?
Biomimicry is used in architecture, energy technologies, climbing gear, aviation, and more. It has been the inspiration for hundreds of inventions that we usually take for granted. We borrow and take inspiration from nature to solve and design solutions to our problems. There is a lot of information on the Biomimicry Institute website, at https://biomimicry.org/what-is-biomimicry/.
Examples of Biomimicry
In this list, we will go over some of the most important and classic inventions that have come from mimicking nature.
Climbing gear - When professional climbers or stunt performers need to climb up flat, vertical surfaces, they often use gecko climbing pads that emulate gecko feet.
Lighting Device - Designer Jonathan Ota used mechanisms inspired by sunflowers for his lighting device, which follows the sun and closes up during the night.
Planes - Planes! We see them every day. The earliest flying machines, and even modern ones, were modeled after pigeons and other birds.
Bullet trains - Bullet trains have a different design because of their speed. Most trains have a flat or slightly angled front, but bullet trains have a front that sticks out at a sharp angle. This was modeled after Kingfishers' beaks, which helps the train become more aerodynamic.
Heart Valves - People with defective heart valves sometimes need a resection of their heart valve and a replacement with an animal or mechanical one. The designs for mechanical heart valves are taken directly from animal and human valves.
Swimsuits - Sharks' skins are covered in dermal denticles, or small, elastic teeth covering their skin. This helps them move forward in water and creates less drag resistance, making it easier to swim. This was emulated in Olympic swimsuits, but was banned because it helped the swimmers so much.
Beijing National Stadium - Biomimicry can also be used in architecture. The Beijing National Stadium looks similar to a nest. There is also acoustic sound proofing material, similar to the insulation in a bird nest. This type of building also allows for large amounts of sunlight, while also having strong structural integrity.
There are so many ways biomimicry can be used in our lives. I hope that everyone can take something away from this and let the things around us inspire our creative minds.