Janine Benyus on Biomimicry in Design on TH Radio (Part Two) : TreeHugger

The second part of the interview starts with the core principles of biomimicry: learning from nature, seeing what natures does (or does not do) within a specific context, and trying to understand the principles.  Rather than using the products of nature or domesticating nature, biomimicry strives to understand the underlying principles and then use them to inspire our designs. 

Janine discusses the various education programs ranging from K-12 to universities.  The goal is to give students at least an awareness of biology, ideally from a functional perspective, so that they can appreciate the range of possibilities that nature can bring to the design table. 

Janine points out that although life depends on nano-scaled constructs and processes, it uses these particles in a way different from our nanotechnology.  Many of the concerns are related to 'free' nano-particles, which have unique and potentially dangerous properties.  In nature, particles at this size are embedded as part of a hierarchical framework from the very tiny up to the macroscopic. 

Janine ends the interview by tell us to "Get outside!" and make connections between how nature  and humans solve similar problems.  Work with biologists to gain a deeper understanding and strive to understand the larger system of which we are just a part.

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