From snowflakes to leaves, nature is full of incredible shapes and intricate designs. Nature itself is a wonder, a world full of plants and animals that adapt themselves to better suit the natural world. This is exactly what biomimicry is all about.

What is biomimicry?

It’s actually a simple idea: use what exists in nature to build and design areas for human beings. Biomimicry is about bringing nature into every project as a mentor and a guide, not something to destroy or change. Biomimicry copies forms found in nature, but it also finds a way to integrate nature into the design itself. Even as this design concept uses the natural world for inspiration, it also molds itself to existing nature instead of taking away from it.

How design firms are using biomimicry in architecture

Jamie Miller is the director of biomimicry for architecture firm B+H. Miller’s job is to use nature to inspire physical designs. This can be anything from wind turbines that borrow from the natural design of whale fins to concrete made to look like coral formations. It’s about observing what works in nature and finding ways to use that in human-centric design.

“While there is an urgent need to embed a nature-based approach into architecture, planning and design, industry-wide application and awareness is not where it should be,” said Miller in a press release. “In recent years, we have often focused on our own man-made advancements and ignored the lessons to be learned from the world around us. This is a strategy that has rendered us collectively short-sighted. Perhaps it’s time we embrace new models, and a new mentor, in nature.”

Similarly, SvN Architects + Planners appointed Aaron Budd as the Director of Regenerative Practice for their firm. It’s an entirely new division with the purpose of integrating architecture, landscape design and planning into a complete framework. This firm is taking a total approach to biomimicry.

“There is an urgency to integrate our projects with natural and ecological systems that extend beyond ‘sustainable design.’ As a response to our climate crisis, SvN is building a regenerative practice supported by quantifiable impact-oriented performance metrics to define a contextual solution for each project,” said Budd in a press release. “I’m excited to lead a new practice area at SvN that combines the expertise and experience in each of our disciplines to create the best results for our clients and the planet.”

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