ScienceBiomimicry: Nature's Solutions Inspiring Sustainable Design

Biomimicry: Nature’s Solutions Inspiring Sustainable Design


In its purest form, nature has ways to make things beautiful and easygoing for human existence and other forms of life on our planet. The human race is pretty innovative in structural and vivid architectural designs taking inspiration from potential places. Our understanding of the area, time, and place in nature are fair to that of any other form of existence. However, generally, we glance to nature for inspiration.

Millions of years of evolution have fashioned the planet around us and created several unimaginable things. One such evolved concept is biomimicry. Biomimicry is after observing an attribute in nature and replica it or components of it for human technology and style. There square measure various samples of biomimicry in action.

Biomimetics or biomimicry emulates the models, systems, and parts of nature to determine complicated human issues. The terms “biomimetics” and “biomimicry” are derived from the Hellenic word bios, life, and imitation, from imitate, mimos, which is an actor. A closely related field is engineering.

Living organisms have evolved well-adapted structures and materials over geologic time through survival. Biomimetics has given rise to new technologies impressed by biological solutions at macro and nanoscales. Humans have checked out nature for answers to issues throughout their existence. Nature has solved engineering issues like self-healing talents, environmental exposure tolerance and resistance, property, self-assembly, and harnessing solar power.

What is Biomimicry?

Biomimicry is a term that Dr. Bruce Lipton coined. If we go by his words, he defined biomimicry as the study of how nature creates its design models. In other words, we can learn from the way nature has designed things. This concept might as well get used to explaining how the human body works.

Biomimetics in principles could be applied in many fields. Because of the diversity and complexity of biological systems, the number of features that might get imitated is large. Biomimetic applications are at different stages of development, from technologies that might become commercially usable to various prototypes.

Murray’s law, which in the conventional form determined the optimum diameter of blood vessels, has been re-derived to provide simple equations for the pipe or tube diameter that gives a minimum mass engineering system.

Biomimicry Usage Innovation

Birds and bats majorly inspire aircraft wing design and flight techniques. Engineers modeled the aerodynamics of the streamlined design of the improved Japanese high-speed train Shinkansen 500 Series after the beak of the kingfisher bird to improve aerodynamics.

Biorobots based on the physiology and methods of locomotion of animals include BionicKangaroo that moves like a kangaroo, saving energy from one jump and transferring it to its next leap.

Biomimetic Architecture

Living beings have adapted to a constantly changing environment evolving through mutation, recombination, and selection. The basic idea of the biomimetic philosophy is that nature’s inhabitants involving animals, plants, and microbes, are the most experienced in solving problems and have found the most appropriate ways to last on Earth.

The 21st century has seen a waste of energy due to inefficient and trash building designs. In addition to this, the over-utilization of energy during the operational phase of its life cycle. Similarly, biomimetic architecture seeks solutions for building sustainability by taking ideas from nature.

As a result, there has been a spike in growth in devising innovative design standards and solutions to counter energy problems. Biomimetic architecture is one of the multi-disciplinary approaches to sustainable structure that follows a set of rules rather than stylistic codes, going beyond using nature as inspiration for the aesthetic of built form but instead seeking to use nature and solve problems of the building’s functioning and saving energy.

3 Essential Components of Biomimicry

When translating nature’s methods into potential solutions, the science of biomimicry involves 3 essential elements: Emulate, Ethos, and Re-connect. These 3 elements represent the core values that biomimicry relies on and aims to transmit its practices altogether.

1. Emulate

The scientific, research-based application of learning from so replicating nature’s forms, processes, and ecosystems to form additional regenerative styles.

2. Ethos

The philosophy of understanding how life works and making styles that ceaselessly support and make outcomes contributive to life.

3. Re-connect

The idea tends to area unit all a part of nature and realizes the price of acknowledging life’s interconnected systems. Re-connect as an application encourages the North American nation to watch and keep time aside for nature, to grasp however we tend to area unit deeply connected to that, and expertise however life and its biological methods work.

Example of Biomimicry in Asia

Asia, and particularly India, is renowned for its unity in diversity with its rich heritage and culture. The country is continuously developing and leaving its mark on the world through its achievements, technological advancement, and structure. People from all over the world visit India every time to adore its architectural sensations. Changing times have also changed the perspective of the nation’s engineers and structures and sluggishly espousing the principles of biomimicry as a guiding lighthouse toward a sustainable ultramodern India.

Some monuments show us good use of biomimicry architecture to produce some jaw-dropping unconventional structures.

1. Lotus Temple

Photo by: Swapnil Deshpande/Unsplash

Located in the public capital of Delhi, the lotus temple, designed by Fariborz Sahba, is a house of deification devoted to the oneness of humanity of religion. The sacred flower of Hindu tradition, the lotus, is not only used to develop the design but also to draw symbolism of church and chastity. The form is enabled to block the harsh sun shafts and keep the innards cool and well-lit indeed during the scorching summer heat of India.

2. Lavasa

Photo by: Iamrawat/Openverse

Lavasa is one of the most popular lams near Mumbai and Pune. It is the first megacity in the world designed according to the principles of biomimicry. It’s located in the Western Ghats. This megacity finds alleviation from ants to channel water throughout the structure. The megacity’s rooftops are inspired by a native banyan fig splint that enables the water to run off and cleans its face.

3. The Tote, Mumbai

Inspired by rain trees, a new structural system can be seen in the innards of this eatery and bar called the Tote in Mumbai. An aesthetically pleasing space in itself.

The elaborate stilt system becomes a spatial organizer as it separates spaces according to their function within a different spatial volume. The interior is an intricate arrangement of 3-dimensional, faceted rustic paneling, abstracted and textured to look like trees cutting branches. The point was covered with mature rain trees thus, the innards of the tote blends in with the environment.

Biomimicry Is Real-World Inspiration: Example

In a real-world example, many species of lizard will walk up swish surfaces like stone walls and even glass. Scientists studied the pads on the toes of one species, the Tokay lizard, and discovered that tiny, microscopic hairs facilitate them “sticking” to surfaces. Who would have thought having bushy toes might have its advantages? By mimicking lizard toes, we have developed adhesives, the simplest way to shut wounds while not stitches, and more.

Ants Could Have the Solution to Traffic Jams

Photo by: Prabir Kashyap/Unsplash

Nobody likes sitting in traffic, not even ants. Have you ever seen lines of ants moving right next to each other? However, entering in opposite directions? They seem like traffic flowing on the road, without the hour snarl-up. Learning how hymenopteran columns move will facilitate us to improve road traffic, particularly as autonomous vehicles develop.

Inspiration is often found inland, ocean, and air!
Here are a couple of additional samples of biomimicry:

Down Feather Insulation

Significant winter coats are stuffed with down or alternative feathers to keep the heat locked without having us fly south for the winter.

Termite Mound Cooling

The method these tiny insects use to drill holes within their mounds to cool down in the hot African Savannah has impressed architects to develop additional economically efficient buildings by the weather.

Humpback Whale Wind Turbines

The ridges on the pectoral fins of humpback whales produce mechanical flow in water. They conjointly impressed the form of turbine blades.

Beetle Water Assortment

The scarabaeid beetle is also most well-liked for alternative attributes. However, it conjointly collects fog on its shell and funnels it to its mouth in steep, arid environments. It has impressed the researcher’s reviewing how we will pull fresh water from fog, dew, and mist.

Spider Internet Glass

A spider’s web is one of the most robust styles in nature. Automotive industries have traced the webbing pattern so windshields crack but do not shatter.

Regardless of the complex observation work a simple innovation might land in the hands of a researcher, we cannot deny the benefits biomimicry brings. The world is built poorly, but nature surely helps big time.

6 Advantages of Biomimicry

Looking to nature for inspiration can help designers in a lot of ways.

1. Nourish Curiosity

Designers are innately curious, and biomimicry allows them to learn about water life, energy, and material use strategies. This perspective broadens the designer’s mindset and brings new solutions.

2. Go Beyond Form

Glancing up to nature for design ideas has been standard practice over time, from Corinthian columns on Greek temples to Santiago Calatrava’s iconic biomorphic structures. But the practice of biomimicry goes way beyond form and teases out life’s inherent sustainability strategies, creating structures that are fit to function, use materials efficiently and adapt well to the environment around them.

3. Permit to Play with Innovation

Too often, for most people, going to work means sitting at a desk in front of your computer and smashing keys, which is hardly a creative environment. Studies have shown that people who work outside are often happier, healthier, and more creative than those who do a desk job. Integrating outdoor experiences into a design process can boost creativity.

4. Disrupt Traditional Thinking

Start by asking yourself, ‘how would nature solve this problem?’ Assuming the design team has enough knowledge to answer, this framing allows project teams to explore new ideas and brainstorm to solve new challenges in innovative ways like never before.

5. Accomplish Multiple Objectives with a Single Idea

In nature, there are no single-purpose tools. For instance, trees provide shade, which generates energy, and bark helps protect and cool the moving water beneath the surface.

6. Adapt to Context and Climate

Rather than fighting against the climate and exhausting the resources to hold nature at bay, a good project can leverage this process, such as changing seasons and building with readily-available materials and energy. These elements also can make the attainment of LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge standards more easily achievable while minimizing additional costs at the same time.

Although biomimicry might hold answers to future study issues, it seems that its design application continues to be premature. However, it may prove helpful in being applied to isolated functions and on a smaller scale.

Biomimicry and Sustainability

Any design or product that mimics or takes inspiration from nature and our environment falls under biomimicry. However, this does not mean that all biomimicry products are necessarily sustainable.

There is an overlapping Venn diagram between biomimicry and sustainability, which most designers and architects today aim to fall. A non-architectural example is Velcro, which took inspiration and mimicked the hook-like surface of burdock seeds. Velcro is a product of biomimicry but is not necessarily sustainable.

There are 3 stages to judge how far biomimicry is credible.

a. The Organism Level of Biomimicry

Initially, biomimicry centered on drawing inspiration from specific organisms. Therefore, the results ranged from a strictly aesthetic type exploration, like within the Lotus Temple of the urban center, to an additional purposeful conceptualization, like within the national capital bowl, wherever the tight-knit form of a bird’s nest served because the inspiration for its structural and aesthetic style, providing support whereas maintaining sightlines.

The organism level typically mimics specific characteristics of organisms, like type, structure, or material. However, in nature, these characteristics square measure typically designed to learn the creature itself, with no impact on its surroundings.

As a result, the biomimetic style supported the organism level might not be prejudicious to the goal of property. However, a right away translation of those ideas does not typically result in a property product. Ultimately, organism-level studies typically need a different nuanced approach that branches out into one in all the opposite levels of biomimicry to become property.

b. The Behavior Level of Biomimicry

Behavior is the second level of biomimicry. The analysis aims to review the interaction between the associate organism and its setting at this level. Maybe the foremost illustrious example of this level in design is the style and functioning of white ant mounds. White ant mounds are an excellent example of passive cooling ventilation and temperature regulation. The Eastgate building in the capital of Zimbabwe and the CH2 Building in Melbourne, Australia, samples of this practicality translated into design.

Behavior level biomimicry will tend to supply additional viable choices for property compared to the organism level. However, an in-depth study of the organism and its setting is needed. And a few processes that job effectively for one species would not work furthermore for humans, so we should rigorously choose the behavior to be mimicked.

c. The Scheme Level of Biomimicry

The scheme level of biomimicry appearance in the interconnection and dealing of assorted parts instead of on a selected side of the associate organism. It can be the foremost advanced level of biomimicry and is often used for larger-scale comes.

Ecosystems in nature perform as closed systems, capable of being self-sufficient. They thus have served as inspiration for biomimetic designers within the field of waste management, climate management, and low-impact construction. HOK’s planned town in Lavasa, Bharat, derives its water run-off system from the banyan fig leaves and its channels for excess water from harvester ants.

As with most designs, sustainability needs to be considered to ensure the structure is ready for living. Biomimicry lends itself well to this task because it is deeply rooted in natural processes and adapting to nature. However, biomimicry is a vast field. While it can become a good starting point for designing and building sustainable, green buildings, it is not inherently a perfect sustainability model. It is the architect or the designer’s responsibility to make sure that the processes they are seeking inspiration from can be adapted and innovated into something comfortable, aesthetic, and sustainable all at the same time.

Therefore, it is sensible that if these forms and processes are fastidiously studied and custom-made as they ought to be, it may lead to determination issues in fields like design, engineering, and agriculture in additional environmentally sensitive ways instead of going the other tedious method.

The world is poorly designed. But copying nature helps.

Biomimicry has enlarged in prominence within the search property in recent times; the particular plan of account inspiration from nature has been around for hundreds of years. However, biomimicry these days could be a broader, a lot of refined fields that appear for inspiration from multiple aspects of nature on the far side type.


Javeria Najam
Javeria Najam
Content Writer


  1. I didn’t know a single thing about Biomimicry but got a project to research about this, but I couldn’t find such an informational as well as a well written article that will help me and others to understand things about Biomimicry precisely.


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