Ask nature how to solve design problems

A new database of how nature solves problems has just been set up, called

Launching this week, the site is a project of the Biomimicry Institute, founded by author Janine Benyus. The experts at the Institute describe biomimicry as a science that studies nature’s models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems. The site, part manifesto, part search engine, part social network, is a place where innovators and biologists can meet, exchange information and design together.

For instance, someone trying to solve the challenge of how to glue to surfaces in moist environments would find information about barnacles, geckos and other organisms that have solved this problem in the ecosystem in which they live.

The founding sponsor is Autodesk, which sees biomimicry as a revolutionary design concept that can help influence better design decisions.

“Autodesk provides software that helps simplify sustainable design decisions in each industry we serve—providing our customers with design intelligence that enables smarter design decisions, whether they are designing a building, a train, a shoe or a city,” said Lynelle Cameron, Autodesk director of sustainability. “It’s for this reason we’re proud to be the founding sponsor of”

Tom Shelley

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