AskingNature - The Biomimicry Institute Blog
Can hornets, kelp, and ants help us solve climate change? These kids think so.

Can hornets, kelp, and ants help us solve climate change? These kids think so.

This year, middle and high school students from across the U.S. took part in the first-ever Youth Design Challenge, learning how to use biomimicry to create solutions to climate change. From an oriental hornet-inspired method to increase the efficiency of solar panels, to a Saharan silver ant-inspired roof designed to stay cool in extreme heat, to a kelp and fish-inspired method of generating energy, and more, these students learned to apply lessons from nature to solve tough sustainability challenges.

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Celebrating Earth’s Genius with Janine Benyus

Happy Earth Day, Homo sapiens! We sat down with our co-founder, Janine Benyus to talk about the most exciting things happening in the growing field of biomimicry — innovation inspired by nature. We asked her how business can be transformed by looking to ecosystems as...

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Four Engaging Ways to Bring Biomimicry into Your Classroom

By EcoRise and the Biomimicry Institute If you find yourself scrambling for ways to engage your students in environmental literacy, you’re not alone! Finding clever, hands-on lessons and activities in today’s STEM classrooms can be challenging for any topic,...

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Food by local farmers. Distribution system by ants.

By Liv Scott Looking for a way to help a sustainable food system grow, Cullen Naumoff turned to nature. Driving down U.S. 20 toward Cleveland, Cullen Naumoff knew something had to change. Naumoff, director of sustainable enterprise for the Oberlin Project in Oberlin,...

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From ambiguous to aspirational: Is your company ready to be bio-inspired?

A major reason that I pursued a PhD in biomimicry was to have the time and space to reflect on my experiences as a practitioner and consultant. I wanted to know why some organizations seem to embody the emulation of nature as an inherent part of their identity while others dabbled on a project or two and decided it didn’t work. As a reflective consultant, I was always looking for ways to serve my clients more effectively and enable a positive experience in their learning from nature. The majority of the last few professional years of my life have been dedicated to a seemingly simple question: What factors influence the adoption of nature-inspired innovation in multinational corporations?

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Meet a Biomimic: Alex Ralevski

Meet Alex Ralevski, a postdoctoral associate at Yale University who conducts translational research in plant biology and neuroscience. Her current work focuses on understanding fundamental biological mechanisms and their translation and practical application to animal and human biology. Alex is a contributing writer to, where she helps curate content on biological strategies and the ideas they’ve inspired. To learn more about Alex’s research, check out this video where she explains how plants that thrive in salty seawater can teach us how to design better ways of providing fresh drinking water in drought-prone areas.

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Meet a Biomimic: Dan Quinn

In our latest installment of Meet a Biomimic, meet Dan Quinn, a researcher at the University of Virginia who is pioneering new ways of designing underwater and aerial robots by mimicking how fish and birds move. Read on to learn more about Dan’s research and check out this video to see his work in action.

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A Cure for the Uncommon Cold

By Tom McKeag When Arthur DeVries arrived at McMurdo Station in 1961, he was fresh from Stanford University where he had signed up for a 13-month stint to study the respiratory metabolism of the endemic Notothenioid fishes found in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica....

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The man-made world is horribly designed. But copying nature helps.

By  Christophe Haubursin | Vox | 99% Invisible   Japan’s Shinkansen don’t look like your typical train. They’re fast — so fast they coined the term “bullet train” — with long, pointed noses that let them reach speeds of up...

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Human Spaces 2.0: Biophilic Design in Hospitality

Over the past year, Terrapin collaborated with Interface and Gensler on a series of preliminary studies to bring clarity to biophilic design trends in hospitality. Until now, our biophilic design research has been focused on workplace wellbeing, and we were surprised...

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By John Anderson Lanier Executive Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, and one of Ray's five grandchildren. I was 18 years old, and I was feeling the butterflies. I didn’t know where I was going, and Atlanta isn’t the easiest town to navigate. In fact, that...

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