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Biomimicry in the Built World: Consulting Nature as Model, Measure, and MentorAdd to Queue

Course :  Visualizing the Future of Environmental Design (UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design 50th Anniversary Spring Program)

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  • Date posted : Jan 01, 1970


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CED 50th Anniversary - Visualizing the Future of Environmental Design: Biomimicry in the Built World: Consulting Nature as Model, Measure, and Mentor Janine Benyus, President and Founder, Biomimicry Institute Biomimicry is the science and practice of asking, How would nature solve this design challenge? Architects, city planners, and building engineers are at the forefront of this emerging discipline, inviting biologists to the design table to create dwellings that learn from the genius of the place. Native organisms become models for buildings that gather water from fog, capture sunlight with their skins, clean themselves with rainwater, and weather hurricanes with grace. Commercialized products include fans inspired by whale flippers, glues inspired by marine mussels, and solar cells based on the inner workings of leaves. In one of the most exciting new fronts for biomimicry, planners are consulting nature as measure, setting the bar for city performance by quantifying the ecosystem services of native ecosystems. Biologists pull data on tons of carbon stored, gallons of water absorbed in a storm, degrees of summer cooling, millimeters of soil formed, etc., and these ecological performance standards become the new goal for cites. Working together, buildings, hardscapes, and landscapes must provide the same level of services as the ecosystem that would have naturally grown there. When our cities are functionally indistinguishable from the wildlands that surround them, says Janine Benyus, we will have learned to be a welcome species at home on this planet. http://www.ced.berkeley.edu

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