Lotus leaves inspired the umbrella, bird wings inspired the plane, and the Burdock plant inspired velcro. These are some of the earliest examples of biomimicry. “Biomimicry is the conscious emulation of nature’s genius” says Erin Rovalo, a design consultant and a PhD candidate researching biomimicry design practices. The Biomimicry Institute defines it as “a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges”.
There are examples of biomimicry at the Highlands Center for Natural History. Our restrooms use a constructed wetland for wastewater treatment. The designers tapped into nature’s genius to find a sustainable way to clean water and return it to our ecosystem.
Go outside and take a moment to learn how nature solves problems. Look for patterns in shape and color or repetition of problem-solving across species. Check out https://asknature.org/. On this website, you can search for things like “sense movement” or “Rattlesnake” to learn more about a specific subject!

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