To b(e)iomimicry or Not to be.

Mimic: to imitate, typically in order to entertain or ridicule.

Often most people remember their childhood and mimicking their older sibling, their parents, friends and teachers. Often most people see a negative connation to the word mimic. What if that word could mean so much more, as it does in the world of sustainability? What if mimicking no longer was making fun of something, but enhancing the natural qualities of its beauty, simplicity, and effortless motion?

Now see this word.

Biomimicry: a new approach that searches for sustainable solutions challenges and issues we face by “mimicking” nature’s structures, strategies, processes and natural abilities. Now mimicking doesn’t seem so bad. Biomimicry in fact is one of the most impactful theories that I believe could possibly change the way sustainability, architecture, design and much more affect the environment. Imagine a spider spinning its web so intricately around and around in various patterns to make sure it is strong and unbreakable while serving its purpose and looking beautiful at the same time. How could we take that strong silk-like structure of the web and turn it into architecture and design? That is what we face in the decades to come; new ways to innovate and collaborate on exciting new designs and structures that break the barriers of “creative, modern and stable.” This became my epiphany this week, and actually I believe that if I were to change and become sustainable that this idea is the perfect way to start that.

According to the article Biomimicry in Interior Architecture, as designers, we are the ones that “must move beyond the formalistic characteristics of the nature and encourage people to develop a deeper, more responsive understanding of nature.” Designers are responsible for encouraging and creating spaces that involve and invoke the feeling of nature and peace. Biomimicry in architecture can help influence nature and moods of those in it, and new advancements in technology could help structures withstand the test of time, reduce cost in heating and cooling, reduce the amount of material waste, and become a living organism itself. As the study in the article showed that the “locust carpet” was made of many different shapes, sizes, colors and patterns that this design helps reduce waste. When a section of the carpet might become damaged due to spills, chemicals, wear or other outside influences, it easily can be replaced with a new piece still connecting it to the whole. As commercial and hospitality designers begin to move into the future, a new mindset needs to be set into place that calls for sustainable designing specifically through biomimicry because with this concept, designs can become more beautiful, powerful, and organic.

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