Biomimicry and Design – Chapter 1
If you Know Darwin’s theory, you understand that every single living creature on our planet is the result of millions of years of evolution and adaptation. Every plant, animal, microbe, and virus living on Earth is a virtual library of the most relevant biotechnologies and ideas to survive and solve problems that anyone can encounter.
This makes our Earth and wildlife the oldest but most advanced research lab ever, improving itself for 3.5 billion years.
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Today, engineers and designers are working hard to solve our everyday problems. They invent new technologies and ways to benefit all humanity, often forgetting the rest of the life chain and ecosystem.
Most of these human research results are relevant and solve specific immediate problems. But not being integrated into a larger-scale system of thought often fails them to be a solid holistic solution and finally create problems somewhere else down the line. For example, wind turbines produce green electricity, which is excellent but is harmful to local birds, and removing humidity from the air leads to local climate change. Google using cold rivers to cool its server in northern countries to ecologically save electricity results in killing river fish because of the few degrees increase in river water’s temperature.
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Nature, on its side, had had no other choice than to integrate every single evolution of each living member of its community into a chained system where everyone is entirely interdependent on all the others. One change on one will affect the others as well. Thus changes and evolutions had to be very smooth, well thought, tested on the entire system for ages before being integrated fully.
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Only the successful changes for the entire system would last!
The failures have become fossils.
Driving innovation is very safe for the entire living system, but it is prolonged. It is slow because it requires to wait for generations of living creatures to evolve, test, and validate the new evolutions in the system.
Today, the world is running fast, and every day sees an innovation, a new tech, a new problem, a new attempt to solve a problem, and a solution is created, produced, implemented, and scaled very fast. The testing on the entire system is not done, which often leads to pollution or resource crisis, for example, energy, water, etc.
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We are not sustainably running innovation yet.
There are many ways we can improve our relationship with nature and our ecosystem without lowering our life’s comfort.
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Let’s explore this in the coming chapters of ‘Biomimicry & Design.’
Strate School of Design