This article teaches us about the relatively new discipline of design called “biomimicry”, starting with the history then moving on to how one can look at design in nature and how some of the mechanisms can solve todays most complex design problems. It also lists and links to various case studies and classic examples of successful design inspired by nature.
It took the earth millions of years to get to the point where it is now, each living thing slowly and constantly adapting to it’s habitat. Because of this, complex natural mechanisms have evolved to solve natural design problems (for example, the beak of a kingfisher is perfectly shaped to pierce into the water without a splash) and have been helpful for us to tackle our own design problems (the Shinkansen Bullet Train took the shape of the kingfisher beak and applied it to the aerodynamic engineering of the front of their superfast trains). I think this idea of borrowing ideas from nature is important, especially in this era when we can get too carried away with complex designs. Often the easiest and most straightforward way is lying right infront of us in the form of an organism we would never really pay attention to. We have relied on un-ecofriendly tools and technologies that have almost allowed us to “cheat” nature and to adapt to an array of environments but instead we should look at all the other living organisms that have adapted to them naturally and draw design inspiration from them.