March 2011 Newsletter (Issue 8.1)

2011/09/30 This issue now publicly readable.

Welcome to the first issue of the BioInspired! newsletter for 2011.  This issue includes articles on the HOK/Biomimicry Guild Partnership and the FIT process (Taryn Mead), the Turning Ideas into Reality conference call (Emer Natalio), the relationship of Biomimicry to Industrial Design (Karen Verbeek) and an interview with Ernst-Jan Mul on how he uses biomimicry as the core of his design business.  The PDF also includes a Calendar of Public Events and a description of the BID Community 'Participation Rebate'.

The newsletter can be read online or downloaded as a PDF (3.3 MB) using the link near the bottom of this page.  This issue is now publicly readable.   If the PDF downloads within a browser window, clicking on links may overlay the PDF.  In this situation, you can download the PDF and then open it in Adobe Reader.  You can accept all Adobe Reader security warnings - all links have been tested.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the newsletter!


© Don Hammond/Design Pics/CorbisAlthough discussions with CBID about the BID Community started in September 2009, work on the website began in March 2010, followed by a soft launch in August, the official launch in September and the first issue of the new BioInspired! newsletter.  Including this issue, three newsletters have been published, with a growing focus on exploring pragmatic issues and documenting practical solutions.  This issue includes articles on the Fully Integrated Thinking (FIT) process (Taryn Mead), the Turning Ideas into Reality conference call (Emer Natalio), the relationship of biomimicry to Industrial Design (Karen Verbeek) and how Ernst-Jan Mul is using biomimicry as the core of his design business.

© Fribourg - Fotolia.comThe HOK/Guild partnership has provided the Biomimicry Guild with the opportunity to work on significant, high profile and complex opportunities.  This has led to the development and refinement of a number of tools, including the Fully Integrated Thinking (FIT) process which supports integrated and holistic thinking and helps integrate the Life’s Principles into the full range of the design cycle.


© Kheng Guan Toh - Fotolia.comOne way to build momentum and create tangible change is by turning good ideas into successful products or services.  Achieving broad market acceptance demonstrates value, can change people's perception and may even influence their behavior for the better.  Are there medium-term opportunities to take bio-inspired design ideas and turn them into business opportunities?


© Yang MingQi - Fotolia.comBiomimicry is increasingly becoming part of the regular lexicon of industrial design and sustainability.  It is even making its way into mainstream media and popular print.  Now Magazine ran "Bring on nature’s design firm" this summer as the cover story.  Our local community paper, "The Banner" recently featured the article "Nature’s brilliance offers hope for future" by David Suzuki.  Those of us in the biomimicry community are asking "Great!  Where are we making progress with biomimicry in business and to what degree are we involved at the product development level?"

© frank peters - Fotolia.comNorbert Hoeller caught up (virtually) with Ernst-Jan Mul in a Barcelona café.  Ernst-Jan had just participated in a brain-storming session organized by Fco. Javier of Aleen on the bio-inspired development of a deep-sea robot. Although many people are looking to nature for design ideas, Ernst-Jan is one of the few who has tried to build a career around practicing bio-inspired design.  He has been active in promoting the field of biomimicry by developing new tools, educating students, training companies, applying biomimetic strategies in design projects and through research. 

© Lim Jerry -

Some members have raised concerns about the cost of membership, particularly if we want to attract students.  The Advisory Group has proposed a 'participation rebate' to help address this issue by returning a portion of the membership fees to active members.  Such a program would also recognize and encourage member contributions to the community.   


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