Biomimicry is a relatively new design methodology that studies nature’s best ideas, abstracts its deep design principles, and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. The term “biomimicry” comes from the Greek words “bios,” meaning “life,” and “mimesis,” meaning “to imitate.” Related to yet also different from terms in earlier use, such as “bionics” and “biomimetics,” biomimicry—an approach popularized by Janine Benyus in her 1997 book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature—entails the “conscious emulation of life’s genius” (Benyus 1997), utilizing design strategies that have been fine-tuned through 3.8 billion years of evolution. Whether in the areas of energy, material manufacture, recycling, chemistry, engineering, transportation, or computing, other organisms have managed to do many of the things humans want to do, without depleting fossil fuels, polluting the planet, or mortgaging their future.

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