Why is biomimicry superficial?
Back at the beginning of this blog I wrote an entry commenting that biomimicry does not guarantee sustainability. It was not meant as a critique against biomimicry as a methodology, but rather at those who only wish to learn superficial insights from nature. A recent comment highlighted the complexity of this conversation, when Jamie Saunders commented that “biomimicry” as a term might suggest non-systems thinking;
Might this be supported if ‘ecomicry’ rather than ‘biomicry’ was initially considered ? Co-evolution and ‘ecomimicry’ – drawing a conceptual understanding and insight from the ‘whole’ ecosystem’ – ‘the interwoven systems that can provide “life support” for current and future multi-species inhabitants.’
My answer, in full here, explains that “bios” has always been interpreted by those pioneering biomimicry to incorporate all of life sciences; including biology, ecology, evolutiona and much more. In other words, at all scales and at multiple levels; form, process and ecosystem. Unfortunately, most stories celebrate a form based level of inspiration; velcro for example, and skip over the deeper, more complex stories; such as Paul Hawkins using redwood forests to evolve business models.
Should the Eastgate Building be a Lung?
I have had the opportunity to spend some time with amazing people over the last couple of weeks. These include everything from researchers in basic science laboratories looking for nature’s recipes, to architects working on enormous projects collaborating directly with engineers, and the never ending flow of creative students who keep willingly signing up for my design thinking experiments. At the risk of gross over simplification, I’m beginning to see some repeating patterns.
Vision, Strategy and Tactics – the holy trinity of innovation
I wrote about vision, strategy and tactical thinking when I first began this blog, but it has never really been out of my mind. Here is my current synthesis regarding what they mean to me;
- Vision = WHY. These are the fundamental values that drive an individual or business forward, and ultimately form the framework to measure success.
- Strategy = WHAT. This defines the opportunities within the vision, or the problems that must be solved, in order to achieve the vision.
- Tactics = HOW. These are the pragmatic, executable actions that must be resolved in order to achieve the vision.
Design as Strategy, Science and Engineering as TacticsRead the rest of this entry »
Last week I had an “ah-ha” moment around questions of teaching and consulting biomimicry. It became apparent through conversations with architects, project managers and design students that there are two different “audiences” or “practitioners” of biomimicry (or innovation in general), and consequently two different ways of approaching them.
Explorers – Biomimicry as journey
Explorers are people who don’t care where they end up, and are passionate enough to dive in the deep end without seeing what’s below the surface. They are hungry for process and enjoy the experience of growing, learning and evolving. These maybe companies looking for transformative change, or individuals looking for personal growth.
The experiences explorers are looking for challenge them conceptually and personally. These are often candidates for biomimicry fanaticism, i.e. whole hearted true faith in biomimicry as a solution to every human challenge.