Meet our Learn Biomimicry logo

biomimicry course logo nature Jan 11, 2021

We’re excited to launch our logo. It’s a whale’s tale combined with a book. It represents to us: - Nature as a living library; containing all the wisdom and inspiration needed for designing a world where all of life can thrive. It’s the simple, yet profound idea that nature is a source of extraordinary wisdom and genius, just like our libraries. 

"Radically disruptive ideas emerge from simple observation of the living world - transformative, surprising, yet somehow obvious." - Tamsin Woolley-Barker

In the practice of biomimicry we become more and more awed and enamoured by the brilliance of the principles, recipes, blueprints and strategies that nature has evolved to solve challenges at a systems level. As we reverse engineer and apply some of these to our own designs, we realise that there’s so much more to each design in nature than we originally thought. There’s a richness in the lessons, sparking greater curiosity and expanding our thinking. This kind of library is the stuff of dreams. Nature is a source of inspiration for humanity and has always been a mirror to humankind – where the finest works of art and architecture are inspired. The ability of nature to combine beauty, economy and functionality is incomparable and it is not a coincidence that the great inventions through history have their origins in analogous natural elements. 

We would be devastated to lose a vast library of millions of years of wisdom and an abundance of genius, especially if it held the solutions to our biggest challenges. Nature is just that. We have so much to appreciate and learn from that genius. To do that we need the lens of biomimicry. Biomimicry is the practice of learning from nature in order to emulate what we find to design more sustainable and well-adapted products, processes and systems. But it’s more than that. It’s a way of viewing and valuing nature as model, measure and mentor.  It offers a hopeful and clear vision for a world that works - for all life. It gives us the perspective that a regenerative, equitable and resilient world already exists, outside in nature. Biomimicry can help us to achieve a new regenerative and resilient socio-economic model by giving us both a mindset and a methodology to follow; as well as an inherent optimism for the transformative potential that surrounds us.  These new ways of seeing create a sense of hope and courage that motivates us to get up every day, push ourselves beyond what we know, and forge a more well-adapted tomorrow.

At the cusp of every design decision, biomimics have 30 million elder strategists to advise them. Rather than flipping through a catalogue of human inventions, or going on a retail safari, biomimics turn to nature for inspiration. Their mentors are the bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals of this planet, the organisms that clothe the landscape, cycle the nutrients, cleanse the air, sweeten the water, and create soil from rock. They are beings that can fly around the world without an engine, dive down ocean Everests without a tank, drink luxuriously from a wisp of fog, or shelter a dune from a hurricane gale. They surf the opportunities in their habitat while respecting the limits, and in that frame, they perform what seem to us to be technological miracles.” - Janine Benyus 

There are between 10-30million species in nature. There's a richness of biodiversity that boggles the mind as to all the lessons we can learn, not only from the forms, processes and systems of each one, but also from how they interact with each other and the larger system.

In our logo, we chose to include the whale’s tale. So many of us have a deep love for whales. It represents our love for nature. We all have an affection for some part of nature and a desire to take care of it in some way. That represents the Re-connect element of biomimicry - to take care of the place we call home and create a world where all of life can thrive. Whales also have been an inspiration for some of the iconic biomimicry innovations - most notably how Whale Power emulated the principles of the tubercles on the fins of humpback whales to improve the fluid dynamic efficiency for wind turbines and potentially aeroplanes too. This represents the pure practical and sustainable benefits of the “Emulate” element of biomimicry. In addition whales have a big role to play in the larger system of the ocean and the planet - in regulating important cycles like carbon and atmospheric conditions.  

Over a lifespan of around 60 years, whales - especially great whales, such as right and grey whales - accumulate an average of 33 tonnes of CO2. When they die, they sink to the bottom of the ocean, locking that carbon away for hundreds of years. By comparison, a tree absorbs up to 48 pounds of CO2 a year. Part of the carbon capture potential for whales comes down to their role in increasing phytoplankton productivity wherever they go - a phenomenon called the ‘whale pump’. As they rise up through the ocean to breathe and migrate across the globe, the iron and nitrogen in their waste provides ideal growing conditions for these microscopic creatures. And while they may be small, phytoplankton play an enormous role in regulating our atmospheric conditions - contributing at least 50% of all oxygen and capturing an estimated 37 billion tonnes (40%) of all CO2 produced. The IMF calculates that’s the same as the amount captured by 1.7 trillion trees, or four Amazon rainforests’ worth. A 1% increase in phytoplankton productivity linked to whale activity could mean the capture of hundreds of millions of tons of additional CO2 a year, equivalent to 2 billion mature trees, according to the IMF.” - WEF Forum

We are fascinated by how the interconnected systems of nature contribute to creating conditions conducive to life. From building soil, to cycling and cleaning water, to balancing the cocktail of gases to sustain life, to setting up the conditions for resilient, agile and adaptive systems. This whale example is one of a myriad of examples of how every species interacts harmoniously with and contributes to the larger systems of life. It represents the Ethos of biomimicry and how we can also become a welcome, integrated, life-nourishing and well-adapted species on this planet. We can learn from this larger systems-perspective of biomimicry to re-design the systems of our world in harmony with the larger systems of life.

If you haven’t had the inspiring opportunity to begin to see the world through the lens of biomimicry, then now is the time.

In the end, biomimicry has the potential to change not only our worldview, but also our world." - Janine Benyus


eBook: A Field Guide to Biomimicry

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